Sales Tax

A sales tax is a tax paid to a governing body by a seller for the sales of certain goods and services. Usually laws allow (or require) the seller to collect funds for the tax from the consumer at the point of purchase. Laws may allow sellers to itemized the tax separately from the price of the goods or services, or require it to be included in the price (tax-inclusive). The tax amount is usually calculated by applying a percentage rate to the taxable price of a sale. When a tax on goods or services is paid to a governing body directly by a consumer, it is usually called a use tax. Often laws provide for the exemption of certain goods or services from sales and use tax.

A conventional or retail sales tax is only levied on the sale of a good to its final end user. Sales to businesses who later resell the goods are not charged the tax. A purchaser who is not an end user is usually issued a "resale certificate" by the taxing authority and required to provide the certificate (or its ID number) to a seller at the point of purchase, along with a statement that the item is for resale. The tax is otherwise charged on each item sold to purchasers who do not provide such a certificate and who are under the jurisdiction of the taxing authority.