Sales taxes are imposed by state and local governments on the sale of goods and services. Depending on where your business is located, different goods and services may or may not be taxed. Some cities may not impose sales taxes on grocery items, for example. In general, whether the customer realizes it or not, most businesses must pay sales taxes on their gross receipts.
Sales taxes are imposed on the total amount of money a business takes in. No deductions are allowed for the cost of the goods or services to the business. If your business sells snacks through vending machines, the sales tax is imposed on the entire amount of money received from the vending machines. You do not get to deduct the amount you spent on the snacks that you put into the machines, the cost of owning and maintaining the machines, or any other business expenses. That is why sales taxes are also referred to as gross receipts taxes. They are a tax on the amount of gross receipts that your business takes in.
45 states collect statewide sales taxes.
- Sales tax rates differ by state, but sales tax bases also impact how much revenue is collected from a tax and how the tax affects the economy
- Differences in sales tax rates cause consumers to shop across borders or buy products online