Adding Taxes and Discounts

Last Updated By Michael Croteau

Updated at May 17th, 2022


No matter what kind of service you offer, tax always needs to be accounted for! Clear Estimates includes cost data for each part in the database, and tax can be added to your estimate separately.

We make it simple to include any kind of tax item, or even discounts, on your estimate - all from one convenient tool!

Adding Tax to your Estimate 

From your Projects page, find a section called Misc. Items. Click the plus to add tax item(s) to your estimate: 

This will pull up your "Add Line Item" tool. From here, you can add a description (i.e. B&O tax, sales tax, etc). You can enter either a flat dollar amount, or a percentage of your project costs:

Let's add a 6% sales tax to our estimate. First, we'll input a description, and select percentage (%):

Now we have some options on how we want our percentage calculated. We can calculate our percentage based on:

Actual Total Cost - Total cost of the project before markup. 

Total Markup - Total markup percentage of the project.

Base Bid - Actual total cost + total markup.

- OR -

Just the Material Cost (Including or Without Markup)

Just the Labor Cost (Including or Without Markup)

Just the Subcontractor Cost (Including or Without Markup)

We can use the drop down to decide what to calculate the percentage from. For this example, we'll calculate our sales tax from our base bid (total cost + total markup)

We'll say the items in our estimate amount to roughly $100.00 in material costs, to keep it simple for this example. Our material markup is set to 20%. Our 6% tax is therefore calculated as 6% of $120.00, or about $7.20

We will tell Clear Estimates where to include the item using the checkboxes on the bottom left. ([P]reliminary, [F]ormal, [S]ubcontractor, or Cost Status report.) Since we want the tax item on our formal proposal, we'll be sure "F" is checked: 

Now, we will see our tax item included at the bottom of the proposal: 

You can set default tax items for every project you create from the "Miscellaneous" menu in your "Options" tool.

Adding Discounts to your Estimate

There are times when you may need to factor a discount into your estimate. Let's say you are doing a kitchen remodel for a close friend or a family member. In this example, we'll add a 20% family discount, again from our base bid (keep in mind: you can also calculate the discount from your actual project cost, or anything you'd like.)

We'll add a new item and input a description, but this time we will type in a negative percentage value (-20%) of our base bid:

The item will now deduct 20% from the base bid cost.

Adding Multiple Items 

Let's say we needed to add a tax percentage on the project after our discount. We can do this using a Running Total. This will calculate the item based on the project value after any other misc items we've created.

First, let's see what our running total is. We can check this by heading back to the Misc Items tool.

From here, we can see that our running total (here it's our base bid - 20% discount) is about $11,379: 

Let's add our 6% sales tax again, this time as a percentage of our running total:

Now our sales tax will be calculated based on the total after our discount:

Now, we can show our discount, tax, and total cost on our estimate:

You can add as many misc. items as you'd like to your estimate, and have them each calculate any way you choose! You can use misc. items in a variety of ways to add different cost figures to your final price. This is a quick and easy way to account for taxes, discounts, or any other percentages you need to include in your bid!

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