What is Sales Tax? A Simple Explanation for Kids, Teens and Beginners


Introduction to Sales Tax for Kids and Teens

This video explains the concept of sales tax in a simple, concise way for kids and beginners. It could be used by kids & teens to learn about sales tax, or used as a money & personal finance resource by parents and teachers as part of a Financial Literacy course or K-12 curriculum.

What is Sales Tax - A Simple Explanation for Kids Teens and Beginners
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Suitable for students from grade levels:

  • Kindergarten
  • Elementary School
  • Middle School
  • High School

The topics covered are:


Sales Tax for Kids Teens and Beginners
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What is Sales Tax?

Sales tax is a tax charged whenever goods or services are sold. The seller collects sales tax from the buyer, and then gives it to the government.

How is Sales tax calculated?

Sales tax is represented as a percentage of the purchase price. It is calculated by multiplying the price of goods or services with the sales tax rate.

The sales tax rate varies by state and also depends on the type of goods or services.

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So, every place within a state has the same sales tax, right?

No. Local governments can charge extra sales tax above and beyond what the state charges. This means that you will not only have to pay the base sales tax of your state, but also any extra sales tax added on by local governments.

For example, if the state sales tax was 5%, and the local government charges a 2% sales tax, you would end up paying a total of 7% sales tax.

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What is the average sales tax rate?

The state sales tax rate in the US, not counting any additional sales tax imposed by the local government, usually ranges from 4 to 7 percent.

Many states have exemptions on certain items like groceries, or prescription drugs.

And some states, like Alaska and Delaware have no sales tax whatsoever!

Impact of Sales Tax - for Kids Teens and Beginners
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How does Sales tax impact me?

Since most of the time sales tax is not included in the price of an item, you need to account for it separately when planning a purchase – especially for big ticket items.

For example, an $800 phone will actually cost you almost $100 more when you account for sales tax.


Download Transcript: Ideal for Use by Teachers in their Lesson Plan to Teach Kids & Teens


What is Sales Tax for kids and beginners
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