How to Calculate Sales Tax in Excel

By Shea Laverty

The calculation tools of Excel spreadsheets make them well-suited to calculating financial transactions and reports. With an Excel spreadsheet, you can even work out sales tax on a transaction, as well as the total cost of the transaction after tax. To use these features, you'll need to enter the correct formulas in the appropriate spreadsheet cells.

Step 1

Launch Excel and create a new document.

Step 2

Click Cell A1 and enter a name to describe the purchase price before tax, like "Sales Price."

Step 3

Click Cell B1 and enter a name to describe the tax rate in decimal form, like "Sales Tax Rate."

Step 4

Click Cell C1 and enter a name reflecting the actual tax cost, like "Sales Tax."

Step 5

Click Cell D1 and enter a name reflecting the total cost, like "Total."

Step 6

Click Cell A2 and enter the purchase price before tax. For example, 100.

Step 7

Click Cell B2 and enter the tax rate as a decimal. For example, for 10-percent sales tax, enter 0.10.

Step 8

Click Cell C2 and enter the following formula:=A2*B2

Step 9

Click Cell D2 and enter the following formula:=A2+C2

Tips & Warnings

  • As long as you know which cells contain the appropriate information, you can use the formulas in these steps to determine the sales tax and total sales after tax from any existing financial report.
  • If you don't know the sales tax rates for your state, city and/or county, you can use online tools (see Resources) to find out the rates in your area. You can look up rates by ZIP code, the street address for your business or even geolocation services.
  • To determine the decimal version of your sales tax rate, always divide the tax rate by 100. For example, if the tax rate is 10-percent, perform the following calculation to work out your percentage: 10/100.