we are designing a checkout page and in the subtotals area we have a breakout for tax, shipping and discounts.

We use the term 'free' rather than '0.00'.

So, for example:

Subtotal:     $140.00
Tax:          FREE
Shipping:     FREE
Savings:      ($4.50)
Total:        $135.50

QUESTION: is it goofy to use the term 'free' for tax? I'm tempted to keep this as-is for consistency, but was hoping to hear from the broader community.

If you have a better suggestion, we'd love to hear it!

Thanks, Nancy

  • Note some things are taxed at a 0% rate or are zero rated so it might just be the particular items chosen
    – mmmmmm
    May 9, 2013 at 16:49

3 Answers 3


It makes perfect sense for shipping, as that's a benefit you are providing your customer.

But also listing it for taxes seems to dilute the benefit of the term for shipping--after all, not charging taxes is not a benefit you are directly providing the customer (it's something the customer's local government is doing).

I'd suggest sticking with numbers ($0.00). (BTW, if you are in the US, note that sales tax laws for online purchases are likely going to be changing soon).

  • We just heard about the pending changes! Thanks for the heads up. You make a good point about the benefit of free shipping... thanks!
    – Nancy
    May 3, 2013 at 18:20

I think "None" would be a better choice. "Free" indicates that you are covering tax like a gift - as would be used for shipping. "None" stands out more than a number - which can be more easily misread - and gets people excited. No tax!

  • Thanks, I agree that text seems to stand out more - and I appreciate your help!
    – Nancy
    May 6, 2013 at 13:46

I would go with 0$ and mention free besides it.

Subtotal:     $140.00
Tax:           $0.00   - FREE 
Shipping:      $0.00   - FREE
Savings:      ($4.50)
Total:        $135.50

The reason being, it is easier for someone to read $0.00 in a bill while looking at the numbers. You can still mention FREE besides the $0.00 to reinforce the fact that they are getting something for Free. Maybe even mention that it is because they are valued customer to make them feel extra-special.

Shipping:      $0.00   - FREE for Premium Customer
  • 1
    I wouldn't mention that they are not paying taxes because they are special, as that's a lie. They are not paying taxes due to local tax regulations.
    – DA01
    May 8, 2013 at 19:23

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