McDonald’s ‘Eat In’ Tax?

By | July 27, 2006

McDonalds Eat-In Tax

Last night I had dinner at my local McDonald’s, at 6th and Bryant. While I was eating I happened to glance down at my receipt, and noticed that they have an “Eat In” tax. WTF! I have to pay $.55 extra for sitting in their crappy plastic chairs? Next time I’ll order it to go, and then eat it there… that will show those capitalist bastards.

Is this a San Francisco thing, or do they do this everywhere?

UPDATE (8.01.06): I went to the same McDonald’s yesterday and ordered my food to go… sure enough, there was a “Take Out Tax”, using the same percentage. Why they just don’t call it “Tax” is beyond me, but I guess the mystery is solved.


63 Comments

Tony on July 27, 2006 at 9:58 am.

As far as I know it’s everywhere (I live in Evansville, IN), and I agree, it’s ridiculous.

ninjaturkey on July 27, 2006 at 10:26 am.

»…Next time I’ll order it to go…«

Next time you should go to Burger King (if they dont do the same). If a company says (and with their “eat in tax” the do!) : we want you to buy our products, but we dont want to have you here sitting around because it incereases our profit – they have to make their money without me!

ninjaturkey from germany

typo180 on July 27, 2006 at 10:48 am.

In my experience, most fast food places charge this tax – although it isn’t always so truthfully described on the receipt. I do exactly what you said – I order to go and then eat in anyway.

Although if I were to really make a recommendation, it would be to not eat at McDonald’s. They’re….ew

Matt on July 27, 2006 at 11:04 am.

Yep, they do this in MN too… out here there’s no sales tax on food (grocery items, etc.) if it’s not considered a luxury item (i.e. a bag of chips). I think somehow McDonalds gets around sales tax if you order to go, but not if you eat in. It seems like where it says ‘EAT IN TAX’ on the receipt it would say ‘6.5% SALES TAX’ at any other restaurant.

T-Man on July 27, 2006 at 12:08 pm.

My mom is a tax auditor and I read a report on an audit that if it’s hot and you eat in they can charge you tax because the cooked the meal, but the state gets the EAT IN TAX because of the hospitality. I’m from Fresno, CA

Adam on July 27, 2006 at 12:15 pm.

As far as I remember from my days at Burger King during high school — state sales tax is charged for any prepared food item. It differs from grocery stores, however, where many grocery products are not taxed at all, because they’re not ‘prepared’.

I recall being taught that at BK because some local news station ran a “we care about you” expose and totally got the facts wrong about food taxation, confusing prepared with grocery and so every 3rd customer wanted to complain about 37 cents in taxes.

This is California though, I don’t know if the laws are different in other states.

Roy on July 27, 2006 at 3:37 pm.

Charging more for sit in rather than takeout is pretty normal in the UK and always has been I guess. Starbucks picked it up straight away and displays double pricing on most of their products. That seems silly to me because we often pick up a coffee and want to leave with it after sitting for a brief moment. (BTW, Starbucks in the UK has the worst service and quality of anywhere I’ve ever been, but that’s another story.)
But this is nothing to do with a ‘tax’ as far as I know. There’s been a lot in the news recently of companies adding ‘taxes’ to bills, but either hiding them or adding their own percentage to the total. In some places — Japan for example — paying 55c for a seat is probably a bargain!

latisha on July 27, 2006 at 3:43 pm.

Like an above poster said “stop eating McDonald’s eww”

If I’m going to be “taxed” for sitting, the eating area better be spotless and looking great. Unlike some fast food resturants (Wendys’ here in Houston, Tx) who attract flies and have ketchup on the tables. If we are to be taxed than clean the place up.

jason on July 28, 2006 at 12:14 am.

is it possible that the tax is just the normal sales tax, but their computer differentiates for later analysis? Do we know if there is a different tax for carry-out, or drive-thru?

RokStar on July 28, 2006 at 11:16 am.

As a POS / IT Technician, I am amazed at some things that consumers are aware of or not.
This is going to sound a little condescending, sorry, but think of it as a smack on the ass kind of thing…
Did you really think that a major US corporation can charge their own taxes?
You think a business can arbitrarily tax whatever they want with out informing you? Is there anything on the Menu that would even IMPLY that they will be charging you any additional fees?
DID YOU NOT NOTICE THAT $0.55 IS EXACTLY 8.5% OF YOUR BILL????

ITS A FREEKING NORMAL SALES TAX!!!!!

Ok, now with that out of the way, McDonalds has an obligation to explain CLEARLY every line item on your check, and this is where they failed miserably. The words “EAT IN” are simply stating the mode that the order was placed. So, if you ordered your same exact meal to go, you would get a receipt that says “TAKE OUT TAX”, and the charge would be the same, 8.5%. It is, in fact, a way to differentiate the tax, exactly as Jason guessed.
In the US, taxes are determined by state, county and/or local governments, so there are many different scenarios that POS systems have to accomodate. McDonald’s choice for handling these different taxation methods is to create a “tax category” with a description of “EAT IN TAX”. A poor choice, indeed, but most likely it will not be the last poor choice that McDonald’s makes.

I do work around the US, so I can also tell you that in 95% of the country, sales tax is applied to food at a restaurant. It is almost always the exact same rate whether you dine-in or take-away. There are only a few exeptions.

Scruffy on July 28, 2006 at 2:58 pm.

It’s a sales tax charged on food you eat in the establishment. There are places in California that do NOT charge sales tax if you get it to go. When I go to the Coffee Bean on Hillhurst in LA, they always ask if it’s to go. If I say it’s for there, they charge a sales tax on the food (coffee, muffin, whatever) and I say it’s to go, they do not. I asked about this once, and they just told me about the tax – it’s charged on eat-in orders, but not on to-go items. That’s why it’s listed as an eat-in tax and not a sales tax, although it is a tax that gets paid to the state. California’s the only state I’ve noticed this in. It’s wacky, and counter-intuitive, but that’s California for you.

-Scruffy

paul on July 28, 2006 at 3:09 pm.

This post would have been the last post I would expect to get comments. That just goes to show you that you never know will will get people up and typing.

There are a few different theories here , so the next time I’m at McDonald’s, I’ll get my order to go. We’ll see what the receipt says.

Erik on July 28, 2006 at 5:53 pm.

You are worried about a 55-cent eat in tax? Dude… you just paid over TWO DOLLARS for a cup of Mr. Pibb. I’d say renting the plastic chairs was a bargin. :)

Wiilliam White on July 29, 2006 at 9:17 am.

I was told once that the philosophy behind this STATE tax is: 1) tax whatever you can to generate needed revenue, 2) don’t tax food purchased at grocery stores as this will burden the poor, but 3) go ahead and tax food served and consumed in a restaurant since people who can afford to eat out can afford the tax. Also, I would assume that ordering to go and then eating in puts the restaurant in the position of having broken the law! Any tax lawyers or tax lawmakers out there? If so please explain all this.

Mechanismatic on July 30, 2006 at 10:02 am.

William,

How could it put the restaurant in the position of having broken the law if the customer deceives them about whether or not they’re going to stay in the restaurant? Are they supposed to maintain surveillance of customer’s who order food to go and then confront the customer if they stay in the restaurant to consume the food? “Excuse me, sir. You got your order to go and you’re clearly dining in. I’ll need your to pay 55 cents or else leave this establishment.” Not likely. It’s not the restaurant’s responsibility to enforce such a rule if it exists and they don’t have the time to do so anyway. They’re too busy frying up 4 dollar burgers for minimum wage.

William White on July 30, 2006 at 11:57 am.

Mechanimatic

You may be correct, but I’ve seen it happen in a local store. The owner confronted a couple that did just that and kicked them out of his store! Aslo, visit http://www.boe.ca.gov/invest/salestax.htm and you will find that: 1) The responsibility for paying the sales tax is upon the seller (retailer), and 2) , any person who evades the reporting, assessment or payment of sales taxes that would otherwise be due may be guilty of sales tax evasion. Violators are subject to fines and/or jail time. I based my opinion on that.

Lucas on July 30, 2006 at 1:35 pm.

Here in The Netherlands (yes we’ve got McDonals!) we don’t have ‘Eat In’ tax. Even we don’t have plastic chairs, there are wood chairs in here. The only thing we both have at McDonalds, Europe ans America, is that stupid clown :-)

Mechanismatic on July 30, 2006 at 7:22 pm.

Lucas,

My experience is that American restaurants are better in places other than America. I recall dining at a Pizza Hut in Scotland (my one taste of home amidst several weeks of native food experiences) and it was an actual restaurant, not the hokey Disneyland-style restaurant you will find in the States. And they served some tasty hard cider rather than just the usual fountain drinks.

William,

I can’t speak to your experiences, except to say that it sounds as crazy as telling old people they can’t dine in a Chuck-E-Cheese restaurant because they’re not accompanied by children. Then again, what you say is believable based on my experiences living in California. The second best thing I enjoyed discovering in the state of Oregon is no sales tax. The first is my fiance.

chris on July 30, 2006 at 8:22 pm.

Just got Happy Meals earlier this afternoon at McD’s to go. They charged me a “take out tax”. I can’t remember exactly what it came to but I looked specifically at the receipt to see if I was charged anything. I was more concerned with getting three Captain Jacks for the kids than hanging onto the receipt. I believe that some of the posts have said exactly as I suspected right from the beginnning, that it’s just the way they collect their sales tax.

wheat on August 2, 2006 at 8:18 am.

Just wanted to mention that here, in South Carolina, as well as in Arkansas (where I used to live) there is sales tax on groceries as well. Many states do not add sales tax to groceries, but two of the ones I’ve lived in do. Just another data point for you.

Eric Schwarz on August 3, 2006 at 5:46 pm.

I know that some states charge a tax if you eat in a fast-food restaurant vs. take-out. I think it’s just their system and they don’t adjust the text-side of things for states/regions that don’t do this. I live in Indiana and it’s the same, but I think Ohio was different.

K.I.S.S. on August 21, 2006 at 1:03 pm.

A solution cannot be found for any problem if the problem is not clearly understood. It should be no different that understanding cannot be attained for any issue if that issue is not clearly stated.

I just recently noticed that two double cheeseburgers for $1.00 ea was creating a 16 cent “tax” on my receipt which didn’t match what my brain figured it would be…12 cents (6 cents “tax” for each one dollar bill). Admittedly, I have not officially researched the codes, regs, statutes etc., but I’ll bet a kings ransom that the Indiana sales “Tax” is still 6%.

So what has caused all the attention? In other words, what is the clearly defined issue? Alot of discussion has left the tracks and resulted in confusing and unrelated conversations as to what is troubling about this “tax”. If the issue is defined, I’m sure the information shared among all who have commented would be educational if not at least more insightful!

Try this out as a more clearly defined issue. Did you notice I enclosed The word TAX in quotations? Or are we all still worried about such issues as what the franchise decides to label the line-item…or maybe it’s that one state may have a different tax than another state…let’s apply for a refund when we file our 2006 returns because our tables were not clean AND the food was not hot! I would focus more on the simple fact that this unknowncharge or fee is causing me to doubt my math skills and, more importantly, I think it’s deceptively being hidden in a line-item to look like a “TAX” in hopes that most consumers will never notice.

If corporations want to call it “TAX” then “representation” dictates that this additional money is an un-solicited gift to government. Otherwise, I question
the integrity of using deception for profit if not the legality of implying that
“THE GOVERNMENT MADE US DO IT!”

K.I.S.S. on August 23, 2006 at 11:10 am.

Fallow-up to my last entry…

I certainly learned alot in the last couple of days! It took just a little digging around to clarify this issue for me. Obviously sales taxes and rates are varied throughout the country. The trick is finding the additional local ordinances affecting the final rate of tax. For the town of Westfield, Hamilton county Indiana I found the fallowing;

Indiana Sales Tax 6%
Hamilton Co. Ordinance 06-01-05-B
Food and Beverage Tax 1%
Westfield Municipal Ordinance 05-21
Food and Beverage Tax 1%

It is legitimate and legal to charge a total of 8% tax on one line-item pursuant to IC 6-9-35-11…blabla blabla blabla.

I will admit that combining all these taxes on one line-item made me suspicious only in that I was unaware of the Ordinances. The text of these Ordinances refer to the NFL and “successful economic developement”. It would have been nice if a separate line-item was used, but I suspect that would be far too costly and probably bring the wrath of environmentalists.

The decision by franchises to ‘code’ the tax line for tracking purposes may be helpful to them, but obviously created suspicion and eventual discontent with some patrons…must be a corporate white-collar out there somewhere thinking “WOW, I never saw this comi’n…I’ll have to worry about it later. I’M LATE FOR A MEETING!”

I was certainly off the mark in my first entry. The government DID make them do it! Hope this helps others…I’m hungry…I think I’ll order the super-sized ‘Humble Fries':)

C Gomez on October 3, 2006 at 6:19 am.

I did a little research and CA does not require Sales Tax on food. Now this is dicey… because if you go to a restaurant, you get charged tax for the “service”. It turns out one way to look at it is if you were to serve a cold sandwich, where you merely put the pieces of the sandwich together, that can be non-taxable if taken “to go”. If you serve a hot sandwich it’s always taxed.

I ran into this at Dairy Queen. The kid working behind the counter told us our blizzards and ice cream cones are not taxed if we say we are getting them “to go”, no matter what we ended up doing.

Are these businesses correct? Not really sure… I’m actually not sure if _they_ are sure. Here’s another article trying to address it:

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2006/06/07/BUGD3J8TVF1.DTL&type=business

As you can see in the article, the state board doesn’t even bother getting accurate numbers, they just screw the restaurant owner. So, can’t really blame them for just overcharging everyone.

Specifically, there is no mechanism in CA law to recover sales tax if you’ve been improperly charged. McDonalds would be presumed to be collecting the tax in good faith even if they charged it for, say, ice cream cones. Only when someone is grossly and willfully mischarging do you have a case… and you’d have to go to court anyways.

Tammy Jetter on March 12, 2007 at 8:53 pm.

Even though it says “dine in tax” or “take out tax” it IS NOT a tax. It’s a fee that McDonald’s is charging. I called them and they say it is to differentiate how to package the food. I think they are wrong to call it a tax. A tax to me indicates that it is government mandated and that it’s going to be paid to the state. My answer to them was you can differerentiate how to package the food without an extra charge. It is the same wether you eat in, carry out, or drive through. In Indiana it is 6% the same as our sales tax. Prepared food cannot be taxed in Indiana (I know state laws vary). If they want to make more money they should just raise their prices not sink down to adding a bogus fee.

Nardo Polo on March 29, 2007 at 12:29 pm.

The Point-of-Sale guy got it right. The post previous to mine (Tammy’s) is just wrong. While it’s true it helps differentiate for the food handlers whether the food is for In or Out, rest assured McD’s as well as all the other restaurants submit their taxes just like everyone else. Don’t you think that it’s ironic it’s, “the same as our sales tax.”

As another POS technician, we commonly set up In/Out taxes because they’re NOT always the same. As some have stated, it’s 0% for take-out/drive thru and whatever the current state/municipal/city tax is for Eat in. I believe Ohio is popular for this practice.

Alex on August 7, 2007 at 10:40 am.

I live in Ohio.
What are you guys bitching about?
First of all, if you eat in ANYWHERE there is tax… you’re using their facility…

and last I knew, pop got taxed no matter what, as it is not food.

Cindy on August 30, 2007 at 11:23 am.

I just visited a McDonalds in Washington State and got charged a eat-in tax and a sales tax. Won’t do that again.

meowzer on September 3, 2007 at 9:31 pm.

The tax is charged if you eat in or go through the drive through of McDonalds. I cannot get a straight answer from anyone at McDonalds corporate office. I will no longer go tho McDonalds for 2 reasons:
1) Because of theis tax
2) No one can explain it to me.

nikki on September 19, 2007 at 8:24 am.

I just had it out at the the Mcdon in E.O. NJ, and the workers could not exsplain the tax to me. But the manager did and it was the state sales tax. I was hot for a min though.

lorie on October 17, 2007 at 5:39 am.

I just went to mcDonalds in Evansville, IN were they charged 7% sales tax for a take out tax.So I called to ask why I was charged 7% for my take out.They first said there was a different tax but quickly changed it and said that I should not have been charged a differnet tax to bring my receipt back in and they will give me my money back.

A on October 22, 2007 at 10:31 am.

Just picked-up an order at a McDonald’s that does NOT have any TABLES & CHAIRS and they charged me the EAT-IN tax!! (They just have a drive-thru and a walk-in counter ot order at).

Arlington, Texas

Zack on November 2, 2007 at 4:07 pm.

WTF indeed. i was eating in Macdonald’s in New Jersey, they have a $.35 tax to eat in… AND A $.15 TAX TO EAT OUT!!!!!! THERE IS NO ESCAPE!

Dallas on November 8, 2007 at 6:09 am.

It’s the same as government taxes goobers. If you look at the receipt it doesn’t list sales tax. They put it under Eat in and Take out Tax so the location can keep up with how many orders are inside and how many on the outside. No matter where you live, even if theres no state taxes, you’re still charged taxes to eat at resturaunts because its prepared food. For those who posted you got charged both, quit lying, that would be against the law and well you’d have a nice lawsuit against mcdonalds. If you go to mcdonalds place 2 orders for the exact same meal inside and take out. It’ll be the same price.

Tiger on December 20, 2007 at 9:40 pm.

I work at McDonald’s and I can explain this. It’s just your standard state sales tax. it says “eat in” or “take out” tax just because of the way the POS system works–it’s weird in a lot of ways. There’s no charge for eating it there or getting it in a bag. Uncle Sam has to get his cut, that’s all.

As mentioned before, an order for Eat In or an order To Go will be the same price, and the tax will be the same. Try it.

REAL IT Technician on February 10, 2008 at 11:00 am.

Rokstar – you ARE right. You do sound condescending. If you had matured to a higher level in your profession, you would know how to remove your specialized knowledge from the situation and realize that this TAKE OUT or EAT IN TAX label is confusing. I also work in IT (for 30 years) and one thing I KNOW is that there is no reason to present a user with information that is confusing. If McDonalds needs to differentiate between take out and eat in orders, I can suggest about 3 dozen other ways to do it than add it to the “tax” description. And you should be able to also. Fix the confusion instead of berating people for being confused.

Billy Ray on March 15, 2008 at 1:55 pm.

I just purchased a burger and some chicken “nuggets” at a McD’s here in Glendale, Arizona. The receipt states: EAT IN TAX 0.27
After receiving the two items, I then purchased the exact same two items and asked to have it “rung up” to go.
The receipt states: TAKE OUT TAX 0.27
So… I am confused as I am SURE that I have seen different tax amounts charged at fast-food places ‘take-out’ versus ‘eat-in’. The reason I recall this is because some time ago the thought crossed my mind to tell the cashier a lie to save paying the tax. I didn’t actually do this, but thought about it, so am sure there WAS a difference. Anyway, I will drive over to a Phoenix McD’s to see what I get when I duplicate both of the prior orders. It may very well be that different cities charge differently as far as taxes for dine-in/take-out are concerned. I might post the results later.

kent on April 3, 2008 at 9:40 am.

its sales tax, the inside or outside is just for them to know where it was eaten.

Kathy on May 7, 2008 at 11:36 am.

THEY ARE NOW CHARGING EAT IN TAX NOW LEAVE YOUR TRAY FOR THEM TO PICK UP.

Friendly Ghost on May 14, 2008 at 1:02 pm.

In Illinois (except Chicago & some other Cities that add their own taxes)the State sales tax is 6.5%. You will find that at MCDonalds and other Fast Food places, Convienence stores, etc., the majority of their electronic cash registers do not reflect the 6.5% and instead, the electronic cash register is programed to “round it off” to 7%. Another half cent profit per sale collected and kept by them. Some older electronic cash registers will actually figure the 6.5% tax but they are being replaced. As you can see by these posts, not too many of the public question “EAT IN” or “TAKE OUT” Tax. This all started back when “pocket calulator” use was allowed in the schools and our children were no longer taught to do math in their head or on paper. Ever notice how many of your friends calculate a waitress tip now on a small calculator in their cell phones because they are unable to figure 10% or 15% in their head?

Dave Ekwall on May 15, 2008 at 10:39 am.

Are you all retarded? Eat in Tax and Dine in Tax are all just “Sales Tax”. I am assuming that is McDonald’s way of telling the servers whether to bag it or put it on a tray. I have never read so many stupid responses in my life. Are you the future of this world?? I hope not.

Dave on May 15, 2008 at 10:43 am.

Here’s my problem. In Rockford Illinois the sales tax rate is 8.25% When I buy 1 item off the dollar menue I pay $1.09. No problem, they are just rounding up. However, when I buy 2 items for $2.00 the bill is $2.19. It should actually be $2.17 or $2.165

Samsara on July 17, 2008 at 11:13 pm.

Today I noticed a “Take Out Tax” on the receipt from McDonald’s.

…and then they did not put bacon on my bacon, egg, cheese biscuit that they charged me for. This is the second time in a row.

Someone is either eating the bacon or I keep going there on the shift of someone who forgets to add it.

the food handler on October 20, 2008 at 8:53 am.

i have never seen that before because i stopped eating at mcgross crap a long time ago, its the worst food out there

JuggaloX on October 21, 2008 at 11:17 pm.

The tax is sales tax, it just helps the people at the counter or window bag or tray your food.

orockwell on November 30, 2008 at 1:18 am.

Nowadays in California, if a food place makes 80% of its money from prepared food and 80% of its food can be possibly consumed on the premises, they MUST charge sales tax on ALL items, here or to-go.

There is one exception for these guys– if they want to, like Coffee Bean, the BOE will allow them to exempt to-go items that are hot beverages, cold food or bakery products. That’s why Coffee Bean always asks you “here or to go” but Starbucks does not, because SB taxes EVERYTHING. They don’t apply for the exemption because– for one thing- it’s easier on their books and they know people LIE to avoid sales tax. They include sales tax within the price, not surcharge it.

OldGuy on January 9, 2009 at 1:09 pm.

Not sure I can buy the “it just helps the people at the counter or window bag or tray your food.” theory. I’m looking at two receipts from Micky D and both have the appropriate tax line but, in large bold print, both have the line “ORDER #XXX TO GO” or “EAT IN”.

I don’t see how that small print line at the bottom of the receipt would help. Seems to me that if this is just a sales tax McDonald’s would want to make sure that customers understood that it wasn’t their idea instead of making it appear that they are charging you to buy their food.

Mike C. on March 10, 2009 at 8:42 am.

I was visiting in Yuma, Az. from Phoenix and they already gouge you with pricing. In Phx a breakfast meal with coffee (sausage McMuffin with egg meal) is about 4.45 here. In yuma it’s about 6.00 plus they have a drive thru tax that is 1.00 or more.
I stopped at the location on 4th Ave and 26th st. and ordered two large coffees and 2 hash browns…it came to 9.62!!!!!
I said just two coffees then. Here in Phx you get hash browns for 1.00 each or two for 1.51. In Yuma they are a flat 1.87 each.
So with tax the amount made sense. Thier large coffees and hash browns are 2.09 x 2 + 1.89 x 2 x 8.80% tax = 8.62 + 1.00 drive thru tax. A whopping 9.62!!
Next time I’ll get down, order to go and eat there so I avoid both the eat in or drive thru taxes.
Sucks that just a coffee alone through the drive thru is going to cost you 1.00 more.

alisha on April 12, 2009 at 5:05 pm.

fyi the reason that we put in/out is so that we know as a company how many people it in and how many eat out. This is good buisness so we know if we need to remodel or if are dinning area can stay the same. It also seperates from drive thur for the same reason. So if you honestly think that mcdonalds charges you to eat in out you need help.

Sassy on April 27, 2009 at 3:44 pm.

The tax is charged whether you dine in or dine out..it is in fact just plain old sales tax. What confuses the issue is that it isnt seperated on the receipt. Meaning this: The cashier needs to note if you are eating there or taking it with you ie: do you need it on a tray (eat in) or in a bag(eat out) That should be on a seperate line AND THEN the line that says “tax” and the percentage and amount. Mcdonalds is putting it all on one line so it appears as though there is a tax for eating in and /or eating out. There is not. It is regular sales tax

Conner on May 13, 2009 at 1:31 pm.

i noticed this when a friend of mine and i ordered 8 cheeseburgers and two drinks which should have been 10 dollars even, but was 10.74… i also realized this is a good deal to rent thier chairs, becuase as long as you buy something, you can stay in there as long as you want. I went to a mcdonalds in trinidad, baught a drink, and used thier socket to charge my laptop all day, and used thier wifi to play games all day while my friend was working. great deal for me haha

Shandra on July 17, 2009 at 5:07 pm.

Seems like McDonald’s does everything it can to steal nickels, dimes, and quarters from customers. A couple years ago I boycotted McDOnald’s after getting fed up with being charged for extra sauce on my Sandwiches. I wrote a letter to the company about my grievances. What bugs me is that if you ask for extra sauce they stick you with a charge of 25 cents. They don’t tell you that you’re charged. But if you order your meal, pay and later take your burger up for extra sauce – they always take it and add the sauce free of charge. So their charge is bogus because it’s not a part of their actual pricing. What I found out was that their systems have a button for extra sauce which charges you. Like they charge for extra nugget sauce. I don’t mind paying extra nugget sauce because they always tell you it’ll cost extra. I don’t like being lied to. I wrote a letter to the company and was told that unfortunately that’s how their systems are. So I boycotted then I heard that they no longer charged for extra sauce on their burgers. This was over a year later. I went back and sure enough they stopped charging. I happily looked at the receipt and saw 1 XTRA Sauce under my Big Mac and no charge. But I guess Greed got the better of the company. After 3 more visits I noticed the same 25cent charge being added again! I still get the free 1 XTRA Sauce on my receipt, but they must hit another button too because there is an additional Mac Sauce charge included. The liars with their “That’s just how the system is”. LIES!!!!

Mike on August 12, 2009 at 10:07 am.

No this happened to my friend last night in east Boston, Mass. Craiziest thing I have ever heard of. What’s next? Is McDonalds going to bring back the coin operated toilet stalls?

Jeff Lane on October 13, 2009 at 7:14 am.

I went through the drive in yesterday at McD’s in the Seattle area(10-12-09) and was charged 10% take out tax when our local sales tax is 9%. What’s that about?

Allan on October 26, 2009 at 5:12 pm.

I paid a 0.70 cent eat in tax at McDonalds,in Chamberlain South Dakota. Why

Emory on February 2, 2010 at 7:03 pm.

Don’t think I will be purchasing at McDonalds anymore.

Lee on February 16, 2010 at 4:30 pm.

The Eat-in or Take-out tax you see on a McDonald’s receipt is the local sales tax. As stated in previous posts, there are a few places out there that require a different tax rate for take out orders vs. those eaten on the premises. McDonald’s uses the same software in almost all of it’s registers across the country, therefore you will see this everywhere. Also, many local governments have recently started adding their own local tax onto state tax rates – so look for those to be reflected in these amounts as well.

Roberto on June 6, 2010 at 8:27 pm.

Well, I just stop for small coffee and apple pie… the total was 1.50+10% for California taxes. I believe they are eating up .25 from legal 9.75%

Additional .25% around the whole country will make a bit junk of money per day… I don’t want to imagine how much money is per year.

I just wonder if this is legal or not.

Manager Tammy on July 6, 2010 at 12:34 pm.

THERE IS NO EAT IN TAX. That is the sales tax of your order. on the right side of the receipt, it says eat in, or take out. Add it up.

Billy Phu on November 10, 2010 at 11:25 am.

Sale Tax is Sale Tax and shouldn’t confused the tax payer on sale receipt. is it legal in tax law by using different, make up a tax term by McDonald for eat-in tax? or take-out tax.
It’s more clear that if it is a sale tax, stated exactly a sale tax. My friend and I were also being charged for eat-in tax at McDonald in Sugar Land, Texas . We’ve asked the McDonald manager to explain my curiouslty. She just raised her voice that “I don’t care Everyone must paid their tax whether eat-in or take out”…
Is it right?

amy on March 12, 2011 at 9:49 am.

Really? You guys dont have anything better to do with your time? The eat in tax or take out tax is just plain old tax that you pay on everything else in life the only difference is McDonalds has eat in or take out so they can keep track of how many customers eat in or take it to go. What is the big deal anyway?

Drew on April 1, 2011 at 11:22 am.

At least these comments provide a chuckle. I went to a McDonalds in Fayetteville, Arkansas and the total level of three different taxes was over 11 percent. Despite the high rate, I wasn’t upset because THE RECEIPT WAS CLEARLY MARKED AND THE EMPLOYEES WERE WELL INFORMED AND HONEST. I live in Texas and most places follow the law, but the ones that don’t really upset me. The policy in Texas is very simple, with food the tax is applied re preparation vs non-preparation. McDonalds, BK, etc. is taxable. If you buy a bag of Doritos at a Walgreens, a CVS, a convenience store, etc. it’s not taxable, but if the convenience store has a little hot dog machine the hot dog would be taxable because it is prepared. The variance, if following the law, is in the amount of tax. In Texas the state minimum sales tax is 6.25 percent but areas can charge any additional amount up to a maximum additional 2 percent for a maximum total of 8.25 percent. The geographical boundries for the variances can be extremely convoluted–sometimes two businesses can be almost right next door to each other and be correctly charging DIFFERENT tax RATES, but this is a different issue than if ANY tax is due on an item. WHEN AN ATTEMPT IS BEING MADE TO TO CHARGE ME TAX ON AN ITEM THAT ISN’T TAXABLE, I explain the law to them. Sometimes the tax is correctly removed, but I could fill a book with the varied lies that I often get in response. Sometimes the answer is a lie that management has obviously told them that they may actually believe…but most of the time the answer is made up on the fly and the person is stuttering because it is something they don’t expect to be questioned on because the monetary amount is so trivial. To me the issue is principle, not the money. My zip code currently restricts sales tax to the state minimum 6.25 percent. There are now 2 Jack in The Box locations in my zip code. The older one is corporate owned and charges the correct 6.25 percent sales tax. The new one is franchised and incorrectly charges 8.25 percent. I pointed this out and the manager said it’s programmed into their system and refused to change it. I asked for an e-mail address. First she claimed they didn’t have one, then she admitted they did but said it isn’t for customers and wouldn’t give it out. I went to the corporate owned Jack in the Box in the same zip and they wouldn’t give me an e-mail address not a non toll free number either. They give you the toll free number, but they have your info if you call that because they’re paying for the call , but you don’t have any info re them to get satisfaction…primarily the lack of an e-mail address so you can’t document anything to them ieasily in writing from the store level and know the concern will get to the right person. I will never patronize any Jack in the Box ever again because of the way they approached this issue on all fronts. Other chains, such as the Timewise convenience store chain has, in thousands of transactions, rarely made a mistake and when they have, have MADE THE CORRECTION ONCE I POINTED OUT THE ERROR. Only once did they refuse to make a correction when I pointed out the error and given ALL THE TIMES THAT THEY DID POLITELY CORRECT ANY ERROR, i’m not going to stop shopping there because of one incident—THEY HAVE BUILT UP GOODWILL………..Amy, you write “Really? You guys don’t have anything better to do with your time?”. I find it quite funny that you would type such a response because YOU ARE READING THE POSTS (plural vs the singular POST as you use the collective “you guys” so you must have read multiple posts) that YOU think were NOT WORTH THE TIME TO WRITE so, given that, how are you in any ‘different proverbial boat’ than we who posted the comments you read?

Otto on July 21, 2011 at 6:53 pm.

I have eaten at McDonald’s in Myrtle Beach andin Houston. At both places there is an “eat In” tax added to the receipt IN ADDITION to a sales tax. Both are shown separately. I have also ordered takeout at McDonald’s. What did I see on the receipt? There was a sales tax and a “take out” tax. I have eaten at other similar type food places that do not charge an eat in tax or a take out tax. I guess this is how the McDonald’s cashiers get their tips.

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