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Taxman after waiters’ tips

Published on 22/09/2004

22 September 2004

BRUSSELS – Belgian tax inspectors are looking for a slice of the tips diners leave waiters in the country’s restaurants, it was reported on Wednesday.

A well-known restaurant owner in Liege – who did not want to be named – told La Derniere Heure that an inspector had gone through his credit card receipts with a fine tooth-comb, taxing the gratuities left by the customer.

“The extra is the tip which the customer leaves, if he wants, to the waiter or waitress,” he said, adding that he would pass that sum on to his worker.

“In the eight years I’ve been working in the catering trade, the taxman has never worried about these amounts. This year, the inspector went through three months of receipts and then extrapolated from that sum to get the sum of a year’s tips..”

He said owners of restaurants in Brussels had noticed the same practice.

In response, many restaurants have already scrapped the “extras” section in credit card payments in a bid to encourage customers to leave cash.

One tax inspector told La Derniere Heure tips amounted to revenue just like any other type and were fair game for him and his over-stretched colleagues.

[Copyright Expatica 2004]

Subject: Belgian news