A sales tax is a consumption tax imposed by the government on the sale of goods and services. A conventional sales tax is levied at the point of sale , collected by the retailer, and passed on to the government. A business is liable for sales taxes in a given jurisdiction if it has a nexus there, which can be a brick-and-mortar location, an employee, an affiliate, or some other presence, depending on the laws in that jurisdiction.
Conventional or retail sales taxes are only charged to the end user a good or service. Because the majority of goods in modern economies pass through a number of stages of manufacturing, often handled by different entities, a significant amount of documentation is necessary to prove who is ultimately liable for sales tax.
Different jurisdictions charge different sales taxes, which often overlap, as when states, counties, and municipalities each levy their own sales taxes. Sales taxes are closely related to the use taxes which applies to residents who have purchased items from outside their jurisdiction. These are generally set at the same rate as sales taxes but are difficult to enforce, meaning they are in practice only applied to large purchases of tangible goods