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Having a percentage calculator at your fingertips can come in quite handy, especially if you know VAT will be added to an item. But, if it is not listed or if VAT has been added, you may want to know the original price before the 20% increase.

Of course there are a million and one other reasons why someone would want to figure out percentages, particularly businesses, so these handy online software programs are amazingly time efficient and easy to use.

## Keeping Up with Inflation

There are also times when businesses need to increase their list prices to keep up with inflation.

This is extremely important at the moment in the UK because inflation is on the rise at historic levels and you may need to adjust your profit margins in order to make the business financially stable. If you know that your utilities will be rising at 6%, then you know that to stay in business that money needs to come from somewhere.

In retail, those rises are generally covered with price mark-ups. An online percentage calculator sure beats pulling out a handheld or desktop calculator because everything is on the screen in front of you. In this way you can see if you’ve entered all values properly and save you manually working out the percentage increase.

## How a Percentage Calculator Works

An online percent calculator usually has five different fields on the screen. Whether you want to decrease an item by a certain percentage or increase the amount by a certain percentage, you simply need to know which fields to fill in.

For example, most online percentage calculator will have fields similar to the following:

• Original value/price
• Percentage of change
• Amount of change
• Value after increasing
• Value after decreasing

## Percentage Difference Calculators

If you’re looking to calculate the change in prices or numbers, a percentage difference calculator can allow you to figure out:

### Increases

A percentage increase calculator will allow you to see the new number after an increase of your choice has been applied.

For example, let’s say that we want to show what an item cost before adding VAT. We know that the item is selling for £220 after VAT, so what was the original list price?

In this case you would place the £220 in the “Value after increasing” field and 20 in the “Percentage of change” field. You will see that the “Original Value” was £183 and that it changed by 36.7 units (pounds). Now you know that government is getting £36.70 on an item you are paying £183 to purchase, £220 after VAT.

### Decreases

You can also use a percentage decrease calculator to see how much an item originally cost if you have the mark-down price (discounted price) if the original price isn’t listed.

There are so many things you can do with a free tool of this type that you should bookmark it on your browser so that you can call it up instantly as the need arises. They are easy to use if you have at least two values to work with so take the time to find one online and save it to your favourites.