Barbados Value Added Tax (VAT), Service Charges and How to Tip in Barbados

Learn more about Value Added Tax (VAT), hotel and service charges that might be added to your bill and helpful information on how to tip in Barbados.

Many products and services in Barbados are subject to VAT. Implemented in 1977 this general taxation covers most items and replaced several other taxes. For Example: Consumption Tax, Stamp Duty, Surcharge, Excise Tax and an Environmental Levy. Most retail prices include VAT. If applicable, the VAT amount will be shown on your invoice whether it be at a shop, restaurant or supermarket.


Hotel Tax and Service Charges

Should you stay in a hotel or villa during your holiday to Barbados, 7.5% VAT and a 10% service charge may be added to your bill. Please pay close attention to your bill and always ask for clarification before utilizing the services, whether or not it is included.


Departure Tax

Upon leaving Barbados, all travelers are required to pay a Departure Tax of $55.00 BDS. This fee is paid at the Sir Grantley Adams International Airport when checking-in. Some travel agents include this tax at the time of issuing your ticket. To check whether or not you have already been charged, refer to your ticket and look for a small voucher stating Departure Tax. The Check-In Agent will keep a portion of this voucher for their records.


How to Tip in Barbados?

The standard range when tipping is ten to fifteen percent (10% – 15%) of your bill prior to VAT. Many restaurants include 10% service charge in the final bill,  so be sure to check before making final payment. To encourage better customer service for the staff at local Barbadian companies, we encourage you to recognize excellent customer service during your stay in Barbados.


About Totally Barbados (Edit profile)

Brett Callaghan is the founder and managing director of Totally Barbados. I specialize in writing content for the tourism industry for my island home of Barbados. I help companies build strategies to grow online businesses with SMART marketing, advertising, and social media goals.