Each state is divided into tax jurisdictions that determine the amount of sales and use taxes charged for goods and services within the area. These jurisdictions are determined at a state level and the tax rates can vary greatly depending on the business location. Some states also have separate taxes within special zones, such as school district boundaries, so it is important to precisely locate the tax jurisdiction for your address.
Locate the state department responsible for taxation at your home or business. Some states, such as New York and Ohio, have a Department of Taxation and Finance, while other states, such as Illinois, fold these operations into the state's Department of Revenue.
Visit the website for your state's department of taxation or revenue. If you don't know the exact web address, do an Internet search with keywords specifying your state's name and "sales tax." Official state sites end with a ".gov" designation.
Click on the link pertaining to sales and use taxes. This is typically on the primary page for a state department of revenue or taxation, but if it is not, click on a tab or link for businesses. Alternatively, conduct a site search for the term "sales tax."
Locate a link or tab for finding tax jurisdictions. Different states have different labels but they are relatively uniform. Illinois labels its search form as a "Illinois Tax Rate Finder" while New York uses the term "Sales Tax Jurisdiction and Rate Lookup." Ohio labels its location finder as "Ohio Department of Taxation Online Services - The Finder".
Input your location information on the form. At a minimum, each state requires a street address and ZIP code. The street address or the "plus-four" at the end of your five-digit ZIP code is used to provide the most accurate information for your sales tax rate because it pinpoints your location within a sales tax district or jurisdiction.