How To Calculate Service Charge + Tax for Your Indian Wedding Venue

You might have seen a venue’s fees with a ++ after the dollar amount i.e. $60++
Those + signs refer to service charge and tax. Those are fees on top of the base fee. Service charges at venues typically range from 20-25%. And tax is the current sales tax rate in that city. So at many California venues for example when a venue says their fee is $60++ per person, it ends up being more like about $80 with service charges and tax.

It’s really important to pay attention to this. For Indian weddings with anywhere from 150-600 guests this can make a really big difference in your total bottom line.

{How To Calculate The Service Charges and Tax}

A lot of people make the mistake of adding the service charge and tax percentages and then multiplying with the fee. That is incorrect, because the service charge is also taxable.

{Example}

Fee: $60 | Service charge: 24%  |  Tax: 8%

Incorrect: $60*(.24 + 08)=$79.20
Correct: $60*1.24*1.08 = $80.35

Even though the difference is just a little over a dollar, your final bill will be several thousand dollars and this will make a difference.

Since the tax rate can change, most venues’ outside catering packages don’t state the tax rate. And only some state the service charge rate. Most will say, “$60++”. So make sure to ask for the current service charge and tax.

You’re probably booking your wedding 10-12 months out, so keep in mind that you will be responsible for paying the service charge and tax rate at the time of your event, not at the time of booking. Don’t worry though, usually service charge and tax rates don’t change much (more than 1%) year-over-year.

{Can You Negotiate Down Service Charges?}

Usually no. A percentage of the service charges are usually allocated for the event staff that will service your event. And many hotels, resorts and other venues are unionized, so negotiating down the service charges are typically something they will not do.

But you can negotiate on the per person base fee. Willingness to negotiate will depend on:

  • demand at that time of year
  • overall scope of your event
  • any other concessions already given

Are you talking with venues and need some help understanding Outside Catering Packages? This guide will help.


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Cover photo: Hospibuz