11. If I sell food and beverages to groups of more than 10 persons at my restaurant and I impose a mandatory gratuity charge, how should I charge the tax?
For sales made between July 1, 2011 and June 30, 2012, if your sales include alcoholic beverages as well as other items, you must apportion the charge for the mandatory gratuity between the two categories. For example, if the total charge amounts to $300, and of that amount $200 is for sale of food and non-alcoholic beverages and $100 is for the sale of alcoholic beverages, then 2/3 of the amount of the gratuity is subject to the 6% tax rate and 1/3 is subject to the 9% tax rate. In this example, if the gratuity charged is $45, the 6% rate on the gratuity would be $1.80 (2/3 times $45 times 6% = $1.80) and the 9% rate on the gratuity would be $1.35 (1/3 times $45 times 9% = $1.35). The bill, therefore, would reflect total tax at 6% of $13.80 ($230 at 6%) and total tax at 9% of $10.35 ($115 at 9%).
Due to a 2012 law change, for sales made on and after July 1, 2012, charges for alcoholic beverages are subject to tax at the 9% rate and charges for mandatory gratuities are subject to the 6% rate regardless of whether the gratuities relate to sales of alcoholic beverages or sales of food and non-alcoholic beverages.