A Very Taxing Explanation

, , , , , | Right | March 4, 2018

(A girl and her group of friends come into the store and make a large order. After they sit down, her friend comes to the counter and orders a double cheeseburger. I see that he doesn’t have enough money in his hand.)

Me: “You know the double isn’t a dollar, anymore. Its $1.49, plus tax, which is about 11%, here.”

Customer #1: “Oh, I have $1.52; is that enough?”

Me: “No, the double is $1.49, and tax is about 11%, so it would be at least 15 cents in tax. We have the cheeseburger for a dollar.”

Customer #1: “What is that with tax?”

Me: “With tax it is $1.11.”

(The customer pays for the cheeseburger, and I give it to him. The girl comes back to the counter, holding the cheeseburger and her receipt from the first order.)

Customer #2: “Excuse me. I ordered a double a few minutes ago and it was $1.49, and he said the price is now $1.62, so how did the price get raised in a few minutes?”

Me: “The price wasn’t raised; the $1.49 is the price before tax.”

Customer #2: “But it says right here on the receipt, ‘$1.49’! I gave him $1.52, so how could the price be raised?”

Me: “The price on the receipt is before tax; it adds the tax at the bottom of the receipt.”

Customer #2: “BUT IT SAYS ‘$1.49’ RIGHT HERE!”

Me: “Yes, but here on the bottom of the receipt, it shows your subtotal, and right under that it adds the tax, which is the $2.49 right here on the receipt. After that is your total with tax. Tax is based on the total amount, not on the individual price.”

Customer #2: “Okay, I don’t believe you! You’re lying to me!”

(I got my manager, who tried to explain how taxes work, and ended up just giving her a double cheeseburger. I don’t think she ever figured out how taxes work.)

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