These common rules about taxes, tips/gratuity and delivery apply to most of the daily deals like Groupon, WagJag, DealFind, LivingSocial, TeamBuy, etc.
You may refer to the following article as well:
- Are expected to be paid on the full amount of the pre-discounted bill. If it is a spa deal “$400 for $100″ (save 75%), that means that you will be required to pay at least $13 for HST in Ontario, $12 in BC, appropriate amount of tax for other provinces and $40 – $80 for tips (10% – 20%), so it may come up to $190.
- Tips are usually absolutely voluntary, but some of the businesses require you to pay tips on your checkout bill. One of the examples was -417 Dead Sea Spa featured on Groupon in October 2010 with this deal: “$69 for an Ultimate Oasis Retreat Package and a 30-Minute Warming Mineral Massage at Minus -417 Dead Sea Spa ($292 Value)”. A lot of customers complained that on checkout they were required to pay 10% gratuity on the full $292 amount. If service is good customers will kindly pay good tips and come back, but service in -417 Dead Sea Spa was far from good, so customers did not want to pay gratuity, but had to. They charged additional $38: $9 HST on $69 + $29 tips on $292. Here are several complaints from Groupon discussion board related to this deal:
- If it is a good business, it will never require you to pay tips, they will just give your change back, so you can decide what amount you would like to tip. If it is a good business with good service, customers will tip generously.
- Sometimes (very rarely) there are deals “tax and gratuity included“. It means you will not pay anything as long as you do not exceed your coupon limit. On the excess amount you will be required to pay at least taxes, may be some other fees
- When you buy coupon, you do not pay taxes on it directly to Groupon. Your credit card is charged with the exact amount specified in the deal.
- “Tax not included” means that you will most likely be required to pay taxes on the full amount of pre-discounted bill. Only if it is clearly identified by Groupon Staff and business owner on the discussion board that taxes are paid on the discounted price, so you save more. Plus you will be required to pay taxes on the excess amount beyond you coupon value.
- “Tax included” means that you do not have to pay tax if you stay inside your coupon value.
- “Can not be used toward taxes”. When taxes are not included, usually it is impossible to cover taxes with your coupon. For example, if you have a coupon for $50 of merchandise, and you picked products worth $44 totaling almost $49.72 in Ontario (13% HST), you will be additionally charged by business with $5.72, and your $6 value from coupon will be lost.
- Sometimes Groupon staff make “simple mistakes“. It was a deal “$99 for a True Wellness Package at Sabai Thai Spa ($308 Value)” and they were telling for the entire day that deal included taxes, but actually it did not include tax. The following reply appeared on discussion board only a week after the deal:
- If it is a good business, usually they allow to cover taxes and delivery with your coupon.
- Delivery is usually can not be covered with coupon. So it will be additional charge by merchant. It is usually specified as “Coupon can/can not be used toward delivery purchase”.
Every time before purchase get answers to any uncertanties about taxes, tips, and delivery on Groupon (or other daily deal sites) with staff and business owner!