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Mar 27, 2010 04:01 PM

Catering tax and tip

ok-mI know it's a dumb question but my mind has sudently gone blank

is a gratuity always on top of tax?

Thuis, is it event price
graturity including tax , or gratuity on only the food provided?


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  1. It depends on the venue and the state tax rules. The company I work for charges a fixed rate for the service charge (gratuity), so in my state (California) the service charge is taxed. When the percentage is mandated, it becomes part of the sale and is thus taxable. If the service charge rate is not mandated, then it isn't subject to tax, only the food, beverage and labor are taxed.

    1 Reply
    1. re: rednails

      Connecticut follows the same rule as California.........

    2. We've had discussions about tipping and catering before, and my opinion is that you shouldn't tip caterers. Catering is done on a contract basis, and the contract should include a service charge -- there's no need to add a tip on top of that. If the caterer thinks they should get more money for the job, they should negotiate it upfront and not expect a tip at the end. The exceptions would be a "bonus" for extraordinary service or service beyond what was originally anticipated in the contract, and for waitstaff, who I think should get tipped a flat amount based on the duration of the event, not a percentage of the bill.