Welcome to the land of mental arithmetic!
During your Canadian holidays, to know how much something costs you will need to mentally add the sales tax, which is not generally included in the price displayed.
For example, in British Columbia, sales tax is around 7%. If you see an article at $100, it will cost around $107.
Things are even more complicated in restaurants, where you also need to add a tip (about 15%) which is not included in the menu price.
For example, if your meal costs $20, don't forget that around $1,40 in sales tax will be added to your bill, and you will need to leave a tip of about 15% (before tax) for the wait staff, another $3.
How much is sales tax in Canada, by province?
A 15% federal Goods and Services Tax (GST) is applicable to all transactions in Canada, with the exception of basic food items.
In addition, most provinces apply a provincial sales tax. This provincial tax varies between provinces.
British Columbia: 7%
How do you calculate tips?
In Canada, tips are never included in the price.
Even though a tip should depend on the quality of the goods or services received, it is the custom in Canada to give a tip equivalent to 15% of the total bill, befores taxes, in restaurants, bars and taxis. You can leave the tip on the table or give it directly to your waiter/waitress.
It is also common to leave a tip for the housekeeping staff if you are satisfied with their service (+/-$5 / night).