Do You Tip Before or After Tax?

Tip based on the pre-tax amount of your bill. Tips should not be calculated based on the total, including tax.

Knowing whether to tip before or after tax can be confusing, especially for first-time diners. While tipping is not mandatory, it is customary to show appreciation for good service. However, it’s important to know that the tipping amount should be based on the pre-tax amount of the bill rather than the total amount, including tax.

This is because servers are not responsible for the tax amount. In this article, we will discuss why tipping is important, how much to tip, and when not to tip. Additionally, we will provide other essential tips to ensure you have a pleasant dining experience.

The Basics Of Tipping

A tip is a sum of money given to someone for a service rendered. It’s a way of thanking someone for doing a good job. When it comes to tipping before or after tax, it’s important to understand the basics of tipping.

What exactly is a tip? Essentially it is a gratuity provided to a service provider. Tipping is important to show appreciation for a job well done and to help service providers make a living. So, who do you tip? People who typically receive tips include restaurant servers, bartenders, hair stylists, and housekeeping staff.

Remember, tipping is customary, but it’s ultimately up to you if you choose to do so and how much you wish to give.

Factors To Consider When Tipping

Tipping is a common practice in many countries, but the amount and timing of the payment can sometimes be confusing. When deciding whether to tip before or after tax, it’s important to consider several factors. Quality of service is undoubtedly the most critical factor.

If the service is excellent, a bigger tip may be in order. The type of establishment is also important. Some businesses include tips in their pricing, while others leave it up to the customer. The level of service and location matter too.

Finally, the time of day could affect how much you tip. By considering these factors, you can make a more informed decision about when and how much to tip.

Tipping Before Tax

Tipping before tax has its pros and cons. Firstly, it’s easier to calculate the tip. Secondly, it might save you some money. However, on the downside, it can be confusing because tax rates vary. To calculate the tip before tax, multiply the pre-tax amount by the percentage you want to tip.

Different countries have their own practices when it comes to tipping. In some countries, tipping isn’t expected at all, while in others it’s customary to tip before tax. Ultimately, how you choose to tip is up to you, but it’s important to be aware of the pros and cons of each method.

Tipping After Tax

Tipping after tax can be a contentious issue, with both pros and cons to consider. When tipping after tax, the main benefit is that it simplifies the calculation process. However, this approach may result in a slightly lower tip amount, since the tax has already been added to the bill.

To calculate your tip after tax, simply multiply the pre-tax total by your desired percentage (usually 15-20%), then add that amount to the tax. Different countries have different traditions when it comes to tipping, so it’s important to do your research if you’re traveling.

Ultimately, the decision of whether to tip before or after tax is up to you, and should be based on your individual preferences and circumstances.

Other Tipping Considerations

When it comes to tipping, it can be confusing to determine the appropriate amount. For takeout orders, check if there’s a designated tip line when paying. During pandemic times, tip a little extra to show appreciation for their service. For large parties, check if a gratuity has already been added to the bill.

For buffet service, tip 10% of the total bill. It’s always good to tip generously, especially for exceptional service. Keep in mind to tip after tax if you want to show appreciation on the full amount. These guidelines aim to help you navigate through tipping etiquette without feeling overwhelmed.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do I Calculate Tipping On A Bill With Tax?

To calculate tipping on a bill with tax, calculate the pre-tax amount of the bill and then apply the tip percentage based on your satisfaction. For instance, if the bill is $100 and the tax is $10 and you want to leave a 20% tip, you should tip $20 on $100 ($100 is the pre-tax amount).

Is It Better To Tip Before Or After Tax?

Tipping before or after tax is generally a matter of personal preference. Some people tip on the pre-tax amount while others prefer to base the tip on the total amount of the bill after tax. However, it is advisable to use the pre-tax amount as a base for tips as the tax goes to the government, and the servers should not be punished for the higher tax rate in different states.

Should I Tip On Takeout Orders?

Tipping on takeout orders is not mandatory, but it is good to tip between 10% and 20% of your order total if you enjoyed exceptional service. However, if the takeout order is large or complicated, tipping 20% or more is advisable.

Nonetheless, if you had a negative experience, you are not expected to leave a tip.

What If The Service Was Bad?

If you received poor service, leaving no tip or lower than the standard 15-20% is acceptable, as tipping is given based on good service. However, it is best to speak to the server or the manager to address any problems you experienced, or if the service did not meet your expectations.

Is It Okay Not To Tip?

It is highly recommended to tip in general. However, tipping is always optional and is based on your discretion. You can decide not to tip, particularly if you received extremely poor service or if your budget does not allow for it.

However, if you don’t tip frequently, remember that it can impact the financial stability of the server.


Tipping is a crucial aspect of dining out or ordering takeout in the american culture. While there are no strict rules governing tipping, it is customary to tip your service provider appropriately. The question of whether to tip on the pre-tax or post-tax amount is a common one, and opinions differ.

Some people prefer to tip on the pre-tax amount, arguing that the tax is not a service fee. Others believe that tipping on the post-tax amount is fair since it reflects the final bill. Ultimately, the decision of when to tip rests with the customer.

Whichever method you choose, ensure that you tip generously and fairly to appreciate your server’s hard work. By following these tips, you can build a reputation as a gracious customer while helping service providers make a decent living.

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