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how do i split sales tax on a receipt into different categories

I have two categories of spending in one receipt and need to split the total of sales tax accordingly. I need to find out what percent of the sales tax applies to each item I bought. How do I do this?

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Kay G. | ~20 Years Accounting Tutoring Experience~20 Years Accounting Tutoring Experience
4.9 4.9 (33 lesson ratings) (33)
There's a couple of ways to do this.  One is to just take each item one at a time and multiply by the sales tax rate and see what it would be on that item.  Since that very easily might not add back up to the total tax due to rounding, you might have to adjust an item up or down to make it add back up to the right total.
If you have lots of items but only a couple of categories, just add up all the prices of the stuff in each category and use the total to figure the tax.
Your question actually asks "what percent of the sales tax," although that's a harder method for most people.  But you can do that.  You want the sales tax to be in the same proportion as the prices of the items.  Add up all your taxable items to get the total.  Divide each item (or category of item) by that total, which will give you the proportion that item is of the total.  (Like 2.00 item divided by 10.00 total is .20 proportion, or 20%.)  That's the "percent of the sales tax" that applies to that item or category.  So you multiply .20 by the total tax, and that tax belongs with that item/category.
Jim S. | Physics (and math) are fun, reallyPhysics (and math) are fun, really
4.7 4.7 (189 lesson ratings) (189)
A numerical example might help
Item1      50.00
item2       60.00
total        110.00
tax @10%  11.00
TOTAL       121.00
The tax on item1 is 50.00*10%=5.00
The tax on item2 is 60.00*10%=6.00 this is the tax for each item which adds up to the total tax of 11.00