Reverse Sales Tax Calculator

  • Enter the total amount (including tax) in the "Total Amount" field.
  • Enter the tax rate (in percentage) in the "Tax Rate" field.
  • Click the "Calculate" button to calculate the sales amount before tax.
  • The result will be displayed as a bar chart and detailed calculation below.
  • Use the "Clear" button to reset the inputs, and "Copy" to copy the results to the clipboard.
Sales Amount (before tax)
Detailed Calculation
Calculation History

    What is Reverse Sales Tax?

    Reverse sales tax, also known as “use tax,” is a type of tax imposed by some U.S. states and other jurisdictions on the use, consumption, storage, or rental of tangible personal property or certain services that are purchased without paying the corresponding sales tax at the time of purchase. It is called “reverse” sales tax because it is essentially the reverse of the traditional sales tax, which is collected by sellers at the point of sale.

    Here’s how reverse sales tax (use tax) works:

    1. Purchase without Sales Tax: When an individual or business buys goods or services from an out-of-state seller, online retailer, or other sources that do not collect the applicable state or local sales tax, the buyer is responsible for paying the equivalent use tax.
    2. Reporting and Payment: The buyer is required to report and remit the use tax directly to the state or local tax authority. This occurs when the buyer files their state income tax return or a separate use tax return, depending on the jurisdiction’s rules.
    3. Rate and Calculation: The use tax rate is the same as the local or state sales tax rate that would have been applicable to the purchase if it had been made within the state. The calculation is based on the purchase price of the taxable items.

    All Formulae Related to Reverse Sales Tax

    Reverse sales tax, also known as use tax, is calculated based on the purchase price of taxable items and the applicable tax rate in a specific jurisdiction. Here’s the basic formula for calculating use tax:

    Use Tax = Purchase Price x Use Tax Rate


    • Use Tax is the amount of tax you owe.
    • Purchase Price is the total cost of the taxable items you purchased without paying sales tax.
    • Use Tax Rate is the tax rate imposed by your state or local jurisdiction. This rate is the same as the local or state sales tax rate.

    To calculate your use tax liability, you need to know the purchase price of the items and the applicable use tax rate in your jurisdiction. The use tax rate can vary from one jurisdiction to another, so it’s essential to use the correct rate for your location.

    Practical Uses of Reverse Sales Tax Calculator

    A reverse sales tax calculator, also known as a use tax calculator, can be a valuable tool in various situations where individuals or businesses need to calculate and report use tax on taxable purchases made without paying sales tax at the time of purchase. Here are some practical uses of a reverse sales tax calculator:

    1. Online Purchases: When individuals or businesses buy taxable items from out-of-state online retailers that do not collect sales tax, a reverse sales tax calculator helps determine the use tax owed.
    2. Out-of-State Purchases: People who travel to other states or countries and make taxable purchases may use the calculator to determine their use tax liability when returning home.
    3. Business Expenses: Businesses make purchases for equipment, supplies, and materials from vendors that do not charge sales tax. A use tax calculator helps businesses track and report use tax on these purchases for tax compliance.
    4. Home Renovations: Homeowners or contractors may purchase construction materials from out-of-state suppliers. The calculator helps calculate use tax on these materials for reporting to tax authorities.
    5. Large Asset Purchases: Purchases of expensive assets like vehicles, machinery, or aircraft involve significant use tax liabilities. The calculator helps accurately assess and report these taxes.
    6. Accounting and Financial Reporting: Businesses use reverse sales tax calculators to ensure accurate financial reporting and compliance with tax laws. It helps them maintain accurate records of use tax liabilities.

    Applications of Reverse Sales Tax in Various Fields

    Reverse sales tax, referred to as use tax, has applications in various fields and industries where individuals and businesses need to account for and pay taxes on taxable purchases made without the collection of sales tax at the time of purchase. Here are some common applications of reverse sales tax (use tax) in various fields:

    1. Retail and E-Commerce: Retailers and e-commerce businesses may need to calculate and remit use tax on inventory and supplies purchased from out-of-state vendors or wholesalers that do not collect sales tax.
    2. Construction and Real Estate: Contractors and property developers purchase construction materials and equipment from various sources. Use tax applies when these purchases are made without paying sales tax.
    3. Manufacturing: Manufacturers acquire raw materials, machinery, and equipment for production purposes. Use tax is applicable when these items are purchased without sales tax collection.
    4. Healthcare: Healthcare facilities, including hospitals and clinics, may need to account for use tax on equipment, medical supplies, and pharmaceuticals purchased from out-of-state suppliers.
    5. Education: Educational institutions purchase supplies, textbooks, and equipment. Use tax may apply when these purchases are made from vendors that do not charge sales tax.
    6. Hospitality and Restaurants: Hotels, restaurants, and catering services may acquire taxable items, such as furniture, fixtures, and kitchen equipment, without paying sales tax.
    7. Agriculture: Farmers and agricultural businesses purchase machinery, equipment, and supplies. Use tax is relevant when these purchases are made without sales tax collection.


    1. “The Case for a Reverse Sales Tax” by James Tobin
    2. “Reverse Sales Tax in International Trade: Implications for Developing Countries” by UNCTAD

    Last Updated : 27 February, 2024

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    13 thoughts on “Reverse Sales Tax Calculator”

    1. The information on the use tax rate and calculation provides a clear understanding of the process, however, the article could have emphasized the potential consequences of failing to report and remit use tax to tax authorities.

    2. The formulae related to reverse sales tax are clearly explained in the article, making it easier to comprehend the calculation process. However, the article could have provided some specific examples to illustrate the use tax calculation better.

    3. The article explains reverse sales tax very clearly and provides valuable information on how it works and how to calculate it. It’s very useful for businesses and individuals who need to understand and report use tax.

    4. I agree with you, Joanne. The practical uses of the reverse sales tax calculator are particularly helpful for people who are unsure of how to calculate and report their use tax liability.

    5. The post provides thorough insights into the practical uses of a reverse sales tax calculator, particularly highlighting its relevance for businesses in different scenarios.

    6. It’s interesting to see how use tax applies in different industries and fields. However, the complexities of use tax reporting can be quite daunting for small businesses and individual taxpayers.

    7. That’s true, Selina. The varied applications of reverse sales tax show just how important it is to have a good understanding of use tax laws and regulations.

    8. The article’s explanations are quite comprehensive, but it could benefit from addressing the challenges or common errors that individuals or businesses may encounter when dealing with reverse sales tax.

    9. I see where you’re coming from, Noah. It’s important to highlight the complexities and potential pitfalls associated with calculating and reporting use tax accurately.

    10. I completely agree, Stephen. The applications of reverse sales tax in accounting and financial reporting are especially noteworthy for businesses aiming for compliance and accurate records.

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