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Pharmacy Business Math
Calculating Sales Tax

Sales Tax is currently collected by every state in the US, except Alaska, Delaware, Montana, New Hampshire and Oregon. In addition to that, many cities also levy a local sales tax. And so, the sales tax rate is different depending where you are. Knowing how it's calculate it is important in case of computer failure, or to explain charge amounts to a retail customer.

All you need to Know is:
when to add in sales tax - and on what

- Basically, calculating Sales Tax is exactly like mark-up percentage

- The biggest mistake students make is adding in sales tax at the wrong time. Any discounts, Mark-ups or other adjustments are to be made first, and the final amount is then used to determine the sales tax.

- The second biggest mistake is adding sales tax to prescription drug products that are tax exempt. In the majority of US states (Rx only) drugs are not subject to sales tax. Check with your pharmacy manager if you're not sure. While taking exams, the question will specify if Rx drugs are exempt.

Example Question:

While waiting for a prescription at your retail chain pharmacy, a customer has decided to also buy (2) Ove'Glove®s for $14.99, and (1) The Clapper® for $19.99. Both items are part of this week's 20% off "As Seen On TV" sale. Their prescription co-pay is $10.00 and the customer has only one. The local sales tax rate is 8.5%. If prescription drugs are exempt from sales tax, what will be their total amount due for the four items?

A. $49.87
B. $51.18
C. $53.38
D. $54.23

Explanation / Solution Video

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