Tipping for Services

Tipping for services can be awkward, unsettling, embarrassing even. Tipping is not mandatory but highly frowned upon when customers do not tip or tip poorly.

The rest of our party might be oblivious but, more often than not, tipping for services make us feel stressed and embarrassed. is not easy to grab and the issue is even more challenging when the situations are uncommon or unusual.

Inappropriate and Appropriate Tipping

Appropriate tipping is expected by most members of the service industry. Hotel tipping, casino tipping, massage tipping, cab tipping, hair salon tipping, manicure tipping, restaurant tipping. Everywhere we go we are solicited and appropriate tipping is not always easy to assess.

Most people feel self-confident when tipping a waiter but feel far less confident in most if not all other tipping situations. Is tipping required or not? If tipping is required, how much should it be?

Presenting a tip can also be awkward. Fortunately, technology has made it a little easier with the tip option on credit and debit cards but, it is highly  recommended that you do your own tipping calculation before you present your card for payment.

Tipping Before Tax or Tipping on Tax?

In Quebec, Revenu Quebec administers the GST, the federal Goods and Services Tax in English, the TPS, the Taxe sur les produits et services en français. The GST / TPS is calculated on the selling price at the rate of 5%.

As of January 1, 2012, both taxes - federal (GST) and provincial (TPS) came out to roughly 15% (14.98%) before taxes and, a good rule of thumb was to simply add the two taxes. 

Then, and since January 1, 2013, the QST, Quebec Sales Tax or the TVQ, Taxe de vente du Quebec is now calculated on the selling price, without having to add the GST / TPS mentioned above before the calculation.

As a result' and to make sure the total amount of payable taxes remains the same, the QST / TVQ has been increased to 9.975%. So, for good service you may tip a round 15% based on the tax or, for great service you may add another 5% to 10%. 

Who is Paying? Who is Tipping?

According to regular tipping rules, we are expected to tip 15% before tax. Tips that are often calculated before tax, but many people prefer to use the total amount of the bill where the taxes normally appear after the subtotal, on two separate lines.

If you are buying and someone offers to look after the tipping amount, tell them they can buy next time and pay the whole amount. It prevents any uneasiness about them seeing the bill and about you worrying that they will be stingy on the tip.

Montreal TOURISM Kit
Tipping for Services by Rachel Louise Barry

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