What is sales tax?
Sales tax may be added to the cost of buying goods and services at US retail locations. The amount paid varies by locality. Some 45 states, plus the District of Columbia use state-wide base sales tax rates - while there are 5 states with no sales tax at state level.
Some areas also have local sales tax rates on top of these charges. Consumers pay the combined state and local sales tax rate when they shop. However, certain products - like groceries, clothing and raw materials - may be exempt from sales tax.
Business owners are responsible for collecting sales tax from customers and then remitting it back to the state, either monthly or quarterly.
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Sales tax rates by state.
|State||Rate range||State||Rate range||State||Rate range|
4% - 11%
4.45% - 11.45%
4.5% - 11.5%
0% - 7.5%
5.6% - 11.2%
6% - 8%
6.5% - 11.5%
7.25% - 10.25%
6% - 9%
2.9% - 11.2%
6.875% - 8.375%
4.5% - 6.5%
7% - 8%
7% - 10%
4.225% - 10.1%
6.375% - 8.25%
District of Columbia
4.7% - 8.7%
6% - 8%
5.5% - 7.5%
6% - 7%
4% - 9%
4.6% - 8.265%
4.3% - 7%
4% - 4.5%
6.5% - 10.4%
6% - 9%
6% - 7%
6.25% - 11%
5.125% - 9.0625%
5% - 5.6%
4% - 8.875%
4% - 6%
6% - 8%
4.75% - 7.5%
6.5% - 10.6%
5% - 8.5%
5.75% - 8%
How to find the right sales tax.
Sales tax lookup.
Sales tax varies by state. Local tax rules can mean further differences by county and city too. To find the right sales tax you’ll often have to calculate a combined state and local sales tax rate.
Wondering how to find sales tax detail for your locality? We know taxes are nobody’s favorite thing, so we’ve done the hard work for you with our downloadable sales tax lookup tool.
Simply enter your state, and county or city to find the rate you need.
Sales tax FAQs.
There are 5 US states with no sales tax at present: Alaska (although local sales taxes can still be levied), Delaware, Montana, New Hampshire and Oregon.
Apart from those states with no sales tax, the states with the lowest base state sales tax rate are Colorado (2.9%), followed by Alabama, Georgia, New York, Wyoming and Hawaii (all with 4% state sales tax).
Sales taxes can vary depending on your city and county. Download our sales tax lookup tool to find more precise rates.
California, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Indiana and Mississippi have the highest base state sales tax rates, each collecting 7% or more on sales made.
Depending on your exact location in those states, charges may be higher, thanks to additional local levies. Download our handy sales tax lookup tool to find out combined state and local sales tax rates for your area.
Typically you collect your state's sales tax on orders placed from within or delivered to your own state. In most states, you should not collect local sales tax on out-of-state orders.
In ecommerce, if an out-of-state buyer places an order for delivery to another state, you do not normally collect your local sales tax.
Double check with your local government if you have any doubts about the rules in your location.
If an international customer buys goods or services at a retail location, they must usually pay all applicable state and local sales taxes levied in the seller's location.
However, this gets complex if an order is placed online or by phone for delivery to an international address. Local rules vary, but typically if a purchase is made online from outside the US for delivery to another country, the local sales tax won’t apply. Check the rules where you are to ensure you’re adhering to the correct processes for your area.
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