American sales taxes are complicated to the point of comedy. One of the odd features is sometimes the vendor remits the tax and sometimes the buyer is supposed to do it. However, in practice nearly all buyers forget to. For large ticket items, like yachts, the vendor always collects and remits the tax. For smaller items, the vendor only collects the tax if the buyer is in the same district.
If you are a business, you don’t have to collect sales taxes from people in other states unless you have a business presence in that state. In that case, you must collect just the state tax, not the local tax.
After 12 years, the program is finally complete. It now handles sales taxes for all American states, counties and cities. The task now is to correct errors and keep it up to date. If you see any errors, omissions or out of date information, please let me know.
American sales taxes are preposterously complicated. Every town can have a different rate, every county and every state. Visitors to a town have no idea what to expect. The rates are not posted in standard format anywhere on the Internet in computer-readable format. Every state provides the information in a different computer-hostile way. In many cases I had to guess what the tax rate was, making a lawyerly call on some obscure explanation. Businesses may have to remit sales taxes to three different bureaucracies.
I hope someday the feds do an honest taxes measure where all federal, state and local taxes must be posted in standard computer-friendly format so that your cell-phone can accurately compute the sales or any other tax.
To check the rates, just enter a sale amount of $100.00 and the tax amounts will equal the percentages.
If you notice any errors, please let me know.
The calculator is also available with Java source to download. It is designed to be cannibalised, so that you can use whatever parts of the calculator source code you want in your own code, e.g. a shopping cart. There are notes in the source on precisely how the taxes are calculated.
American State Sales Tax Calculator
❘ precis ❘ screenshot ❘ browse source repository
for the current version of American State Sales Tax Calculator.
Note it may require adding tables for the states/counties you need. It comes with complete state and county tax tables for all 50 states.
1,514K zip for American State Sales Tax Calculator Java source, compiled class files, jar and documentation to run on your own machine either as an application or an Applet.
Runs on any OS that supports Java e.g. W2K/XP/W2003/Vista/W2008/W7-32/W7-64/W8-32/W8-64/W2012/Linux/LinuxARM/LinuxX86/LinuxX64/Ubuntu/Solaris/SolarisSPARC/SolarisSPARC64/SolarisX86/SolarisX64/OSX.
First install the most recent Java.
To install, extract the zip download with WinZip, (or similar unzip utility) into any directory you please, often J:\ — ticking off the use folder names option.
To check out the corresponding source from the Subversion repository, use the TortoiseSVN repo-browser to
After you have installed the jar, you can run it as an application. Type:
java -jar J:\com\mindprod\americantax\americantax.jar
adjusting as necessary to account for where the jar file is.
download ASP PAD XML program description for the current version of American State Sales Tax Calculator.
American State Sales Tax Calculator is free. Full source included. You may even include the source code, modified or unmodified in free/commercial open source/proprietary programs that you write and distribute. Non-military use only.
available on the web at:
optional Replicator mirror
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