When I was home I did a little shopping (who am I kidding, when I am anywhere I do a little shopping)…my shopping at home reminded me how much I love that ALL the prices in the UK are inclusive of taxes (including prices on menus, cars, clothing, entertainment…everything). This means that if you buy a hat and the ticket says £19.99 you can pay with a £20 note and get one pence change. If you buy a hat in Canada (Ontario to be specific) that has a ticket price of $19.99 and you try to pay with a $20 bill, you still owe them $2.60 as the hat is really $22.60 due to the additional 13% provincial and federal tax that is added on every single purchase (with some exclusions but I forget what they are).
The more I think about it the more I realise how misleading it is! Stores that advertise items on sale for $100 really mean on sale for $113 and items that are 50% off are really only 37% off…quite a bit less compelling and way harder to calculate in your head (or mine at least). If you are trying to calculate something that is 10% off you actually still have to add 3% to the ticket price in order to purchase the item!
Now in the UK there everything is still taxed at 17.5% but all taxes are included in the stated price (at stores, restaurants, cinemas etc) . It makes sense to me to include taxes as it means you know EXACTLY what you are in for and if thing are on sale for 50% off…they are really half of what the ticket price says. It makes things like splitting a bill at a restaurant much easier as you can add up what your drink and main cost before the bill even comes vs trying to figure out what your drink and main cost then add 13%…oh no not 13% because some foods are only part taxed and alcoholic drinks are taxed at the full 13%…um, my brain like, hurts…how much do I owe…f*ck it, take my $20 I am leaving.
Anyway when you get accustomed to thinking the sticker price is what you will actually pay it does get a bit disheartening when you get to the cash and you find that the top that you thought was a bit of a splurge at $45 seems like quite a splurge when it comes to over $50.
Who’s agrees?…fight for tax inclusive prices in Canada! Put away your calculators, split restaurant bills with ease and enjoy your shopping splurges without a surprise at the checkout! Good luck with that….I’m in Canada again at Christmas and hope you sort it out by then.