VAT Calculator

VAT Calculator

Custom Rate Online VAT Calculator

Value Added Tax, or VAT, is a consumption tax levied on goods and services at each point of sale. Using an online VAT calculator makes working with this tax quick and easy. This guide covers everything about VAT and VAT calculations.

What is VAT

VAT stands for Value Added Tax. It is a type of consumption tax added onto goods and services at every point of exchange.

VAT definition

Specifically, VAT is an indirect tax collected by businesses at each stage of production and passed onto the end consumer. It applies broadly across the European Union and many other countries globally.

Unlike sales tax in the US which applies only at final sale, VAT accumulates through production and distribution before ultimately landing with the buyer.

History of VAT

France pioneered VAT in 1954 as a modern evolution of decades-old turnover taxes. It aimed to raise government revenue without hampering business. Germany, Denmark, Sweden and Norway followed suit through the late 60s.

Over time, standardized VAT policies emerged across the European Community. The UK adopted the tax in 1973 on entering the EC. Most former Soviet states later added VATs. Today, it spans over 160 countries from Albania to Zimbabwe.

How VAT Works

Under VAT, businesses act as tax collectors on behalf of government. Sellers charge VAT on supplies to other businesses and customers. The companies claim credit for VAT paid on business purchases. This effectively spreads the burden across industries.

Ultimately, the final consumer bears the full VAT burden. Prices of goods and services include accumulated VAT from all upstream firms involved in production and distribution.

Why Use a VAT Calculator

Manual VAT calculations prove time-consuming and prone to errors. Online VAT calculators solve these problems with automation, versatility and ease of use.

Saves Time Calculating

An online VAT calculator performs all tax computations instantly per entry. This liberates the user from tedious manual calculations every time VAT applies.

Reduces Errors

Automated VAT calculators virtually eliminate math errors that often creep in with manual work. They accurately apply precise tax rates jurisdictional rates round the world.

Flexibility in Rates and Locations

Top calculators handle VAT/sales tax rates across thousands of tax jurisdictions globally. They adapt seamlessly when users change locations or tax rules.

Features of an Online VAT Calculator

Handles Different VAT Rates

Quality VAT calculators update periodically with current VAT rates for countries and smaller regions. Users simply choose a location to apply the relevant local rate.

Bidirectional Calculations

Useful tools calculate prices both inclusive and exclusive of tax. Enter the base amount to add VAT or work backwards from VAT-inclusive prices.

Easy Percentage Entry

Some calculators allow directly entering any VAT percentage instead of choosing a location. This helps when dealing with unusual special rates.

Clear Display of Amounts

Well-designed calculators show both the original amount and resulting amount after applying or excluding VAT clearly displayed side-by-side.

Calculating VAT

Two simple formulas underpin VAT calculations:

VAT Calculation Formula

Price including VAT = Price excluding VAT + VAT amount

This formula adds on VAT to the original price.

Reverse VAT Calculation

To exclude VAT from a tax-inclusive price, use:

Price excluding VAT = (Price including VAT) / (1 + VAT rate in decimal)

Here, the VAT rate converts to a decimal, like 20% as 0.2.


  1. Calculate 17% VAT on a $750 product:$750 + (750 x 0.17) = $750 + $127.50 = $877.50
  2. Exclude 20% VAT from a $1,200 total:($1,200) / (1 + 0.2) x 100 = $1,000

So in both directions, the online VAT calculator greatly simplifies working with this tax.

Tips for Using VAT Calculator

Check Rates Match Location

First, ensure the tax rate applies for the correct jurisdiction by verifying location. Cross border sales particularly cause confusion.

Include Sufficient Decimal Places

Carry at least two decimal places through the computations to minimize rounding issues. More precision never hurts.

Save Commonly Used Rates

Most calculators allow saving frequent tax rates for quick access later. Add profiles to streamline VAT accounting.

VAT By Country

VAT or sales tax rates vary widely across the world. Some notable examples:

VAT in the UK

The UK levies a standard 20% VAT on most goods and services. It adds reduced rates of 5% on some items like children’s car seats and home energy. Special 0% VAT rates also apply in defined situations.

Other EU Countries

Current highest VAT in the EU belongs to Hungary and Denmark at 27%. France, Greece and Sweden come close together at 25%. Lowest VAT in Europe resides in Luxembourg at just 17%.

Worldwide VAT Rates

Globally, Bhutan charges the least VAT at 5% across all sales. Highest VAT internationally sits with Uruguay at 22%, narrowly beating locations in Europe.

So tax rates differ greatly depending on jurisdiction.savvy businesses use VAT calculators to correctly apply diverse VAT rules. This streamlines accounting and aids compliance across markets.


VAT, or value added tax, applies complex tax calculations during production, distribution and sales of goods and services. Online VAT calculators efficiently automate these computations in both directions – adding tax on or excluding it from an amount. They provide flexibility, prevent errors, and ultimately save significant time dealing with this ubiquitous tax. Anyone working regularly with VAT should keep such a calculator handy for easy reference.


What is the difference between VAT and sales tax?

The key difference is VAT applies through the supply chain at multiple points, while sales tax only applies at final point of sale to the end customer.

Does VAT replace income tax?

No. VAT complements rather than replaces income taxes and other government tax revenue sources. It is an additional tax burden on consumption.

Is VAT refundable?

In some cases, yes. Businesses registered for VAT can reclaim input tax paid when making purchases for the business. Consumers do not receive VAT refunds.

What countries charge the highest VAT rates?

As of 2024, Hungary and Denmark currently tie for the highest VAT rate globally at 27% on most goods and services.

Who sets VAT rates by country?

Individual governments set baseline VAT rates at national level, though local exceptions sometimes apply. Rates also harmonize broadly across economic unions like the European Union.