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Oct 12, 2005 06:39 PM

Taxes and Tipping Catering Services ?

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We received our estimate on our catering bill for our wedding - the 20% gratuity has been added prior to adding the 5% state tax. Should we agree to this? Paying the gratuity on the food and tax total?

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  1. Some states may allow tax on service. Although I thought it was mored geared to laywers, accountants and the like.

    Look up your state revenue dept's website to find out what is indeed allowed.

    1. I can't speak for all states, but in Wisconsin it is legal to tax both the food and the gratuity if the gratuity is charged by the restaurant and is not optional.

      1. in california, the 20% would be considered a service charge (most restos charge this too for large groups.. or in upscale restos charge this on all dinners automatically). and since it is service not grautuity, it is subject to sales & use tax.

        though I agree with the other posters, check the law in your state.. (must not be california since your rate is only 5%... consider yourself lucky, here it is over 8% in most counties.) also, remember many things are negotiable. while they may not be able to waive the tax (since it is probably state mandated) you might be able to negotiate the fee. it doesn't hurt to ask.
        good luck with your wedding plans,

        1. Yep, it's a taxable service charge, what's called "plus plus" in the industry. Often it will be reflected on the bill at $45pp or $45++.

          It is also customary to give a cash tip to the banquet captain and bartender if they do a good job.

          Weddings are not cheap! Hope you only have to do it once. Best wishes!