That is, the price tag on the product (or on the shelf beneath it or wherever) may say $1.00, but when you go checkout at the counter, you actually have to pay more than $1.00.

To keep the scope of this question narrow, restrict attention to

My guess is that the US is the only such country, but I may be wrong.

Related travel.SE questions: Are taxes included in fuel prices? and Why are prices published without tax in the US?

  • To be fairly honest, out of the countries I have visited, None! I've only even seen in India that there is a policy which mandates mentioning the Maximum Retail Price (MRP) instead of a Manufacturer Suggested Retail Price (MSRP). In India, one cannot legally sell higher than the MRP. Nothing like that in almost any other country I've been to. Jul 31 '14 at 1:02
  • 8
    We outside the US generally think of what you actually pay in cash (or whatever other payment) at the checkout counter, as what you actually pay.
    – user8803
    Jul 31 '14 at 4:04
  • 3
    The bulk of those 36 countries are EU, where its inclusion is mandatory.
    – MSalters
    Jul 31 '14 at 7:34
  • 5
    @MichaelHampton What is confusing about the title? The “final price to be paid” is what goes out of your pocket when you're at the till. Taxes may be separate, but you're still paying them here and now. Jul 31 '14 at 9:53
  • 2
    In Australia where many people have travelled to North America and experienced pre-tax price tags we hate that approach so much that when we got a GST it was on the strict condition that displayed prices would have to be final prices including tax. So that became the law. Aug 1 '14 at 3:25

Canada. The federal government and provincial government each charge a tax which is added to items you buy. The provincial tax is added on top of the federal one usually, unless the province uses what is called Harmonized Tax which combines both.

In Quebec for example we have 5% GST (Federal) and 9.5% PST (Provincial). When you add both, with the 9.5% on top of the 5%, it takes 14.975%. So if you buy something labelled $100 CDN, you will usually pay $114.97.

There are exceptions in which case some items are charged one tax (books for example) or none (food for non-immediate consumption). Rules are very specific. For example, buying 6 food items makes them exempt from taxes because that is not considered for immediate consumption. On supermarket receipts it will be marked F, P or FP depending on which tax applied.

  • That's a lot of tax! In India, we typically have 12.5% VAT and in the GA,US it's about 8%, Japan does 8% as of April 2014 too (earlier 5%). Jul 31 '14 at 2:48
  • @AdityaSomani: FWIW, New Zealand has 15% GST but it's included in the marked price. Jul 31 '14 at 4:21
  • @GregHewgill We have it the same way in India, we also have the marked price stamped on the item (it's a law) and charging above it is illegal. Jul 31 '14 at 4:23
  • 2
    @AdityaSomani The EU has a minimum of 15% VAT (with some exceptions and a complex system to regulate how the exceptions work) and many countries apply 20% and more.
    – Relaxed
    Jul 31 '14 at 10:30


After the recent consumer tax hike (from 5% to 8% on April 1st 2014) in Japan many supermarkets and shops show only the price without the tax which is quite regretful... It was very rare practice before the tax hike.

  • "the recent consumer tax hike"?
    – Bernhard
    Aug 1 '14 at 4:16

As an addition to the other answers, this can happen even in the EU: If you buy bottled water in Germany, then typically you will pay a depostit for the bottle, which you can return later. Deposits are typically 25 cents/bottle and in some cases almost triple the amount of money to be handed over of the bought good.

This is not a tax, but fits the scope of the question as travelling people often do not return the bottles due to convenince. Price tags often state the deposit in the small print, but they are extremely easy to overlook.

  • 2
    the deposit is however listed on the bottle (and on other containers there's a deposit on).
    – jwenting
    Aug 1 '14 at 9:42
  • @jwenting It depends. Having a look at the bottles I have here, "TiP Mineral Water" and "Club Mate Cola" do not mention it (only the one-way deposit logo is present in the former case, which not everyone recognizes -- the latter is a multi-use 8ct bottle), "Ja! Mineral Water", "K Classic Mineral Water" and "Gut & Guenstig Mineral Water" bottles only say "Pfandflasche" (no amount listed), only Gerolsteiner actually writes "0,25 Euro Pfandflasche"
    – DCTLib
    Aug 1 '14 at 9:55
  • I have also seen shelves with a label like “X.XX + 0.XX Pfand” (although I can't guarantee it's always the case).
    – Relaxed
    Aug 1 '14 at 15:39
  • Some US states also have bottle deposits, though they are usually 5 or 10 cents. Aug 1 '14 at 19:15
  • In Singapore the only instance I can think of to which this question applies is something similar: In some supermarkets (quite rarely), they add something like 15 or 20 cents to the displayed price of drinks which are taken from the refrigerated section. However there is usually a sign hanging somewhere (not always very prominent) stating that this amount will be added to the price.
    – user8803
    Aug 2 '14 at 0:56

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy