Dear Preston: My Client Won’t Pay Taxes On The Design


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Dear Preston:

I am a florist in New York City and recently had a client give me a budget of $20,000 to do a wedding for 300 guests.  It wasn’t easy, but we managed to come in under budget. When we presented the bill to the client, she noticed that we had added the additional sales tax ($17.75 in total) and she was furious.  In fact, she accused me of trying to get one over on her!  As it is, I have already lowered my prices to do this job and I am furious that she is questioning my integrity on top of it.

What do you suggest I do?

Tax Problem

Dear TP:


This is clearly a miscommunication.   Your client assumed that your flower budget of $20,000 included all taxes as well. You assumed that everyone living in New York knew of of the 8.875% additional tax we pay on purchases (a reasonable assumption) but there seems to have been a disconnect.


While I always adhere to the notion that the client is always right, I think this particular client is trouble.  I cannot imagine anyone refusing to pay $17.75 in sales tax. That seems crazy to me.  My advice to you is to make sure that you discuss budgets with your clients, reminding them of the additional taxes.  If you decide to move forward with this particular client, be sure to collect every single penny owed to you at least 2 weeks before the event. I would not trust someone who made such a stink over something so trivial (and reasonable).

What do you think of this situation?  What is your impression of this client?  Do you feel TP should pay the taxes since she was not clear that taxes were in addition to the cost of flowers from the start?

Please share your thoughts.


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