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Should companies be required to include sales tax in their pricing per item?

Sales tax is something that gets charged at the end of a purchase (in the U.S.). So, do you think all sticker prices should include tax?

( i.e. Your candy is .99. After tax: 1.06. Should the price just be 1.06 on the tag? )

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silvereyes 8 Dec 17

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Another "In the UK" anecdote coming up; be prepared. In the UK, VAT is included in the asking price, and everything is calculated while taking VAT into account. Makes things a lot simpler, if you ask me.


In the UK it is included. You know how much something is before you pick it up. No hidden charges.

And tipping is discretionary, as it should be since it should be based on the level of service you've been provided.


Requiring the manufacturer to label the final cost would be prohibitively expensive because of the nation-wide variance in sales tax. Here in Oregon we don't have a sales tax while next door in California it can range up to 9%. Which leaves the retailer on the hook. Things purchased for resale are generally not taxable so the calculation of sales tax would have to be done in reverse. Stores like Costco which sell a lot of items intended for resale would have a headache on their hands. Better to leave the system as it is and let the computerized cashiers' machine do the figuring depending on location, nature of the sale, etc. I get that it would be nice to eliminate the hidden cost of sales tax by including it in the actual price but it would create as many problems as it solves.

"Requiring the manufacturer to label the final cost would be prohibitively expensive because of the nation-wide variance in sales tax "

Bollocks. It works in the rest of the world.


This is standard in Australia...


It would make sense. 🙂

Betty Level 7 Dec 18, 2017

Isn’t that the way it is in Europe... sales tax is included in the advertised price, I mean?

The UK has it already included, (VAT, value added tax at 20%) some shops that deal with trades and other businesses will however sometimes display prices without it. It can get confusing for trades people but for the general public life if pretty easy.

Its that way in Germany and I imagine most of the EU. it's called VAT or vaule added tax. movie theatres basically do it although near me they break it down on the screen.


Yes. You should know the "bottom Line" that you will be paying. No additional service charges, to be sneakily added in with the notice in minute illegible typeface.

Wouldn't it be nice if they did that when you buy a big ticket item like a car? You can end up paying thousands more than the "sticker" price by the time they add all their shit on.


Hitting "yes" because there is no real reason for them /not/ to be upfront about total cost


The problem is that different states have different sales tax levels. Some states, like NH, don't have a sales tax at all. So it would be problematic for a company to track this for 50 different states (and other countries) they may sell their product to.

godef Level 7 Dec 18, 2017

Taxation is regional. Only thing that would happen is prices to go up to cover labor dollars. If you’re not math savvy enough to do calculations in your head, then deal with it.


I would think that if the price displayed included the tax then in 2018 a computer system could list the tax separate on the receipt. i've even seen it break down the STATE % and the CITY and the COUNTY which equeled the 7.75% sales tax you might see on a reciept at a different place.


Australia, like the UK, has upfront pricing. I've lived in the USA and I thought the system there was silly.


From what I've been told, that is illegal. Also, that would muck up the people who buy things with a sales tax exemption since they aren't required to pay it.

@witchymom, I don't know. I just remember my mother telling me years ago when she was a manager at a large chain grocery store in Texas. Of course, things may have changed since then.


I think items should be priced with tax included.

Fun Fact: Hawaii has no sales tax.


I live in New Hampshire-Live Free or Die motto-one of the last bastions of no sales tax. People come to NH to buy liquor, appliances and home furnishings Grocery.Retail Pricing is based on price point regardless of changes made by manufacturers to the size (ounces) of the item. $.99, $199, 2/$5. So sales tax included would upset their price points and the grocery industry will never do that.


It doesnt bother me either way as it is simple math to determine the sales tax of a purchase.

Not simple for everyone! (I'm a physicist, but I can't do simple arithmetic in my head.)

@Coffeo got it


I agree with the idea of upfront pricing being a good thing in some ways, but it wouldn't work in a country like the US. We would have to establish a uniform national tax first. I can't see that being done any time soon. We are a union of independent states, after all. Each state has needs to be met and its own hierarchy of autonomy for counties/parishes and municipalities.

It could be done, but it would be incredibly complicated.

Good point. In Australia, sales tax (GST) is a federal tax, so we don't have to worry about differences between states. There are big arguments, though, about the distribution of the proceeds among the states!

@Coffeo -- I wouldn't doubt that one bit. Everyone's needs are more important than the other chap's.


It seems to me that every person purchasing something should be aware that paying sales tax is part of. Do we need to always cater to stupid.

How much sales tax, which taxes apply, federal, state, local, what are they?

In Australia we have one flat goods and services tax and all quoted prices must be inclusive of it.

@Garesh , It is the same in Canada the taxes are combined and consistent for each province, only here in Alberta do we only have GST in others they have HST which is the federal GST and their provincial PST. Unprocessed food is exempt food cooked is not, livestock feed is exempt pet food is not it is a patch work as to which products are taxed.
I guess Canadians are just smarter as we seem to know we have to pay taxes on some item and don't need to be nannied.


I live in Oregon, too, and we don't have sales tax. It also seems to me that sales tax is moderately variable, so if you include it in the price, it would be harder to see how much the government is taking from you, giving them leeway to take more.


Sales tax should be abolished. It is a regressive tax. It is also a tax on money in motion, which is something we want to promote and stimulate. Stagnant wealth should be taxed to increase the velocity of money and money in motion should be as "free" for the individual as it is for business.


In Louisiana its 10% which is easier to figure at the end but having your tax already included would be easier to figure before the check out line.


Yes, sale tax must be up front. I'm ok with higher sin taxes too, you have choice's. Like tobacco, alcohol and anything that is a high risk to your health. Just not income tax, that is burglary by a cop at gun point.


Yes, but in North America we live in is controlled by oligarchs that want above all else to cheat us.

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