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Using the IF function to calculate sales tax
Q: I'm creating a spreadsheet in Microsoft Excel. I need to be able to have the sheet calculate sales tax for orders, but only if the customer is from NY state. Otherwise, I need the tax to calculate at zero. I know that it can be done, but I have no idea how to do it. Can you help? > Sy, Buffalo NY
A: In order to have Excel do this, you need to know how to use the IF function. Unlike other functions, the IF function takes three pieces of data. First, a conditional statement - something to test, like "is this customer from NY." Second, you need to specify the value to use if the condition is true, and finally the value to use if your condition is false. Let's assume your customer's state field is in cell B5. Your IF function would look something like this:

=IF(B5="NY", 0.08, 0)

This says, "if the customer is from NY, his sales tax rate is 8%, otherwise, it's 0%." If this seems a little confusing, don't worry. We cover this exact topic in our Microsoft Excel 201 course. We'll teach you all about the IF function and how it works.




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