How do I calculate the amount of sales tax that is included in total receipts?

Sales Tax Calculation

To calculate the sales tax that is included in a company's receipts, divide the total amount received (for the items that are subject to sales tax) by "1 + the sales tax rate". In other words, if the sales tax rate is 6%, divide the sales taxable receipts by 1.06. If the sales tax rate is 7.25%, divide the sales taxable receipts by 1.0725.

Example of the Sales Tax Calculation

As an example, assume that all of the items in a vending machine are subject to a sales tax of 7%. In the most recent month the vending machine receipts were $481.50. Hence, $481.50 includes the amounts received for the sales of products and the sales tax on these products. The use of algebra allows us to calculate how much of the $481.50 is the true sales amount and how much is the sales tax on those products:

Let S = the true sales of products (excluding the sales tax), and let 0.07S = the sales tax on the true sales. Since the true sales + the sales tax = $481.50, we can state this as S + 0.07S = 1.07S = $481.50. We solve for S by dividing $481.50 by 1.07. The result is that the true product sales amounted to $450. The 7% of sales tax on the true sales is $31.50 ($450 X 0.07). Now let's make sure this adds up: $450 of sales of product + $31.50 of sales tax = $481.50, which was the total amount of the vending machine receipts.

Additional Example of the Sales Tax Calculation

Now let's assume that total amount of a company's receipts including a 7% sales tax is $32,100. The true sales will be S, and the sales tax will be 0.07S. Therefore, S + 0.07S = 1.07S = $32,100. The true sales, S, will be $30,000 ($32,100 divided by 1.07). The sales tax on the true sales will be 0.07 X $30,000 = $2,100. Our proof is $30,000 of sales + $2,100 of sales tax = $32,100. In general journal form the accounting entry to record this information is: debit Cash $32,100; credit Sales $30,000; credit Sales Tax Payable $2,100.

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