Skip to comments.Businesses Add 'Obamacare Fee' to Customer Bills
Posted on 03/03/2014 5:12:46 PM PST by lbryce
Some businesses -- mainly restaurants -- "are asking customers to help foot the bill for Obamacare" by adding an Affordable Care Act surcharge on their tabs, CNNMoney reports.
Case in point: At least eight Gator's Dockside restaurants in central Florida are now charging a so-called "Obamacare fee" that amounts to 1 percent of a customer's check.
Should your business include an Obamacare fee or surcharge on customer bills?
Surcharge or Raise Prices?
A surcharge is an added liability imposed on something that is already due, such as a tax on tax. A valid surcharge requires full disclosure of the fee that will be charged.
Adding surcharges for employee health care costs isn't a terribly new phenomenon. For example, restaurants in San Francisco have been adding health care surcharges on patrons' bills for years now, following the 2008 passage of the city's Health Care Security Ordinance, a program commonly known as "Healthy San Francisco."
But not every restaurateur went that route. Instead of taking on a surcharge, "we just rejiggered prices across the board in a way that we didn't price ourselves out of the market," one San Francisco business owner explained to the San Francisco Chronicle.
Deciding between a surcharge or menu price hike seems to be a matter of preference.
In San Francisco, businesses in favor of the surcharge say it lets diners know that the extra money is to be used toward employee health care. But others say they "didn't want to bring politics into the dining experience."
San Francisco's experience with the "Healthy SF" surcharge reveals a potential issue that "Obamacare fee" chargers should beware: potential surcharge fraud.
Audits of San Francisco restaurants revealed discrepancies in the amount collected in the surcharges versus how much was actually set aside for employee health care, amounting to a form of fraud, the Chronicle reports.
Restaurateurs have said that the inconsistencies were not intentional, but that the rules didn't make it clear whether the surcharge money could be used to cover other costs.
The lesson: If you add a health care surcharge on your tabs, keep track of how much you're receiving in surcharges, how much of that money is being used for health care, and whether you can use surcharge money to shoulder other expenses.
Need More Help?
For more guidance on the legal ins and outs of adding "Obamacare fees" or other surcharges to your customers' bills, consider consulting an experienced business attorney. In addition, a tax attorney can answer questions about the taxability of surcharges.
What is the matter with you economic ignoramuses? Don't you understand the way the economy works?? It's very simple. Putting money, your own money directly where it does the most good in the form of 'Obama Fees' has been shown to have much more of an exponential effect in boosting the economy than by money put in through higher spending by the government according to administration economists.
If the tip were to be 15%, and the bronc0bama fee is 1%, then the tip will be 14% — that’s how I see it.
This is excellent. Instead of burying the cost in their prices where it is basically hidden — expose the ObamaCare charge and itemize it on the bill. Let everyone see it
If the tip were to be 15%, and the bronc0bama fee is 1%, then the tip will be 14% thats how I see it.
(1) I believe the restaurant may be making the point to their customers that they’re not happy with obamacare.
(2) Why do you want to penalize the waiter / waitress? It’s not their rule.
I really like this! As Alinsky said, “ridicule is mans most potent weapon.”
I(2) Why do you want to penalize the waiter / waitress? Its not their rule.
***That 1% goes to them, doesn’t it? Why does the restaurant want to penalize its customers?
Why should I pay for a stranger’s healthcare when I can’t afford my own?
No more restaurants for me!
“Its not their rule.”
They voted for it. Restaurant workers were an prime demographic for being Obama voters.
They voted for it. Restaurant workers were an prime demographic for being Obama voters
I waited tables when I was in college and I would have never ever voted for a socialist jerk like Obama.
Well, you’d be the first I have ever known not to.
The Obama Care Act is going to ruin restaurants. It will create less tip for the wait staff. Obama doesn’t care he is just doing hisjob...making the US into a Socialist nation.
A Communist practitioner will prevail over a Communist theorist every time.
OOPS.... wrong thread. Bob
Well, youd be the first I have ever known not to.
I guess it depends on where a person lives. If I lived in San Francisco, there’s a greater chance I’d be an obama voter.
I’d vote for Obama’s dog Bo before I would vote for obama.
Uh,uh......what do you mean, “ridicule”? I was merely quoting the administration’s economists.
Its a good idea.
I’ve never thought of restaurant workers (not fast food, but the servers we’re talking about here) as prime members of the entitlement army. Did I miss something?
“Did I miss something?”
Don’t know how you could have but it seems you did.
don’t pay it
“As Alinsky said, ridicule is mans most potent weapon.