Shopping Discussion

Is it normal to be charged GST/PST on pre-discounted amount of the Cell Phone bill?

  • Last Updated:
  • Jan 20th, 2022 8:09 pm
[OP]
Member
Nov 2, 2018
405 posts
512 upvotes

Is it normal to be charged GST/PST on pre-discounted amount of the Cell Phone bill?

I received my Bell Canada bill and everything looked in order except for the way the tax is being calculates.

My plan is $65/M +$1.88 911 fees.

Total: $66.88

Then I have a $10/month discount bringing the total down to $56.88

Then I have a $20/month bill credit bringing the bill down to $36.88.

However, the GST and PST I am being charged is on the $56.88 I think Thinking Face.

Is this a normal practice? Is there a distinction between the $10 discount and the $20 credit?

I have attached a picture of the bill for reference.


Edit:

I just noticed that Bell's own app shows $36.88 as the subtotal before taxes

Correct me if I'm wrong, by that logic 36.88 is the amount that should be taxed...see screenshot attached.

So confusing .. is there any govt agency that regulates this?
Images
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Last edited by techackz on Jan 16th, 2022 8:57 pm, edited 2 times in total.
47 replies
Deal Expert
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Feb 11, 2007
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Nope, typical scam by the big 3. Make a "mistake" but only say sorry and refund when they're caught. Should be huge gov't fines and class action lawsuits against these guys, but they're too powerful.
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Deal Guru
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Feb 10, 2007
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Normal, you are getting credit and not a discount. That's how they keep their revenue up.

That's why its after tax
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Deal Addict
Oct 23, 2017
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Your "credit" includes tax, i.e. it consists of $17.70 plus tax of $2.30. Think of it as the refund of a $17.70 item.
Member
Apr 16, 2013
478 posts
484 upvotes
Surrey
techackz wrote: I received my Bell Canada bill and everything looked in order except for the way the tax is being calculates.

My plan is $65/M +$1.88 911 fees.

Total: $66.88

Then I have a $10/month discount bringing the total down to $56.88

Then I have a $20/month bill credit bringing the bill down to $36.88.

However, the GST and PST I am being charged is on the $56.88 I think Thinking Face.

Is this a normal practice? Is there a distinction between the $10 discount and the $20 credit?

I have attached a picture of the bill for reference.

Telus does the same shady tactic. Not sure why they do stuff like this for there paying customer. Of course government doesn't care because they are getting extra Tax Revenue. My Telus Plan that I got was pitched as a $80 plan with a $30 discount = $50 + 12% Tax in BC($56) but just to screw there paying customer they would Charge me $80 + 12% Tax = $89.60 - $30 Credit = $59.60. So I ended up paying $3.60 more every month. It pissed me off so much that I left them after 3 months. Such a shady tactic.
Sr. Member
Sep 24, 2004
917 posts
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Scarborough
I have Virgin internet and they charge tax after discount.
Deal Addict
Dec 22, 2007
1148 posts
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Mississauga
I had this discussion with my friend yes it sucks to pay more but they don't keep the tax they send it to the govt if that makes you feel better
Sr. Member
Dec 26, 2011
702 posts
290 upvotes
It's what they are doing now make you think you're getting a larger discount than you are.

I always make sure to get them to tell me explicitly what the end prices are in writing. I had use this with my internet discounts and get it adjusted.
Deal Expert
Feb 7, 2017
20032 posts
17907 upvotes
Eastern Ontario
From an Accounting perspective …
Nothing SHADY going here
Despite what RFDers who don’t like Telecom Cos will tell you

This is absolutely handled the right way

Cuz a Discount and a Credit are not the same thing

A Discount is like a Sale
Store sells you the $ 2 item @ $ 1
They collect tax on just the $ 1

But you buy the $ 2 item with a $ 1 coupon
You still get charged the tax on $ 2
That’s what a coupon or credit on your bill is

So what Telus here is guilty of …
Is not explaining the bill to you in a meaningful way
[OP]
Member
Nov 2, 2018
405 posts
512 upvotes
PointsHubby wrote: From an Accounting perspective …
Nothing SHADY going here
Despite what RFDers who don’t like Telecom Cos will tell you

This is absolutely handled the right way

Cuz a Discount and a Credit are not the same thing

A Discount is like a Sale
Store sells you the $ 2 item @ $ 1
They collect tax on just the $ 1

But you buy the $ 2 item with a $ 1 coupon
You still get charged the tax on $ 2
That’s what a coupon or credit on your bill is

So what Telus here is guilty of …
Is not explaining the bill to you in a meaningful way
I figured as much... They're not charging tax on the first $10 discount because it is classified as a discount. But on the $20 bill credit they are charging me tax. You were right, they don't get to keep any of the tax day charge, but I just want to make sure that this is a standard practice.

I mean I always thought of it as tax is charged on the final transaction amount. Not anywhere in between.
But thank you for your insight.
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DeletedMemories wrote: I had this discussion with my friend yes it sucks to pay more but they don't keep the tax they send it to the govt if that makes you feel better
Are we sure about that? If they're just paying GST to gov't based on revenue, then they will pocket the extra GST collected. *edit* looks like it would be remitted to the gov't.
Last edited by engineered on Jan 20th, 2022 12:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Sep 22, 2012
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For Public Mobile, the reward savings are calculated before than rather than after. Seems odd compared to the others, but I'm not complaining.
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Mar 5, 2006
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Canada
Here is the Telus explanation: https://www.telus.com/en/bc/support/art ... vices-bill

When you are given a bill credit that is discretionary, either one time or recurring on a temporary basis, it includes taxes based on the applicable taxes levied in the province of supply. This means it is displayed on your bill as the before tax value.

For example, let's say you are in Ontario and were offered a $10 credit for activating a new subscriber with TELUS Mobility. Here is how it breaks down on your bill:
Amount shown on the bill as activation credit ($10 including tax) -$8.85
Amount HST (13%) is reduced by $1.15
Member
Feb 27, 2014
327 posts
78 upvotes
techackz wrote: I received my Bell Canada bill and everything looked in order except for the way the tax is being calculates.

My plan is $65/M +$1.88 911 fees.

Total: $66.88

Then I have a $10/month discount bringing the total down to $56.88

Then I have a $20/month bill credit bringing the bill down to $36.88.

However, the GST and PST I am being charged is on the $56.88 I think Thinking Face.

Is this a normal practice? Is there a distinction between the $10 discount and the $20 credit?

I have attached a picture of the bill for reference.
Yes, those big 3 are not nice biggies, but.....

Tax at $56.88 seems to be the right place to tax instead of at $36.88. They got it right when they did not tax at $66.88.

Think of the credit as a prepayment. If you prepay your account by $20 or any other amount, the tax will still be at $56.88.
Member
Apr 16, 2013
478 posts
484 upvotes
Surrey
PointsHubby wrote: From an Accounting perspective …
Nothing SHADY going here
Despite what RFDers who don’t like Telecom Cos will tell you

This is absolutely handled the right way

Cuz a Discount and a Credit are not the same thing

A Discount is like a Sale
Store sells you the $ 2 item @ $ 1
They collect tax on just the $ 1

But you buy the $ 2 item with a $ 1 coupon
You still get charged the tax on $ 2
That’s what a coupon or credit on your bill is

So what Telus here is guilty of …
Is not explaining the bill to you in a meaningful way

Well the Point is why screw a paying customer? We all know they are not keeping the extra Tax. This just pisses the customer off. I am not the OP but in my case I wouldn't have actually signed up had they been up front with me. By using the Shady Tactic to Screw with there paying customer they got three months as a Paying Customer out of me. Had they told me up front I wouldn't have signed up. I was sold the plan as $80 a month with a $30 credit = $50 + 12% BC Tax. If they told me up front that it was going to $80 + 12% BC Tax minus $30 credit I wouldn't have signed up. Again we all know they didn't keep the extra Tax but it screwed there own paying customer into paying more. So the Point is why do this.
Deal Expert
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Feb 11, 2007
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jattdesi wrote: Well the Point is why screw a paying customer? We all know they are not keeping the extra Tax. This just pisses the customer off. I am not the OP but in my case I wouldn't have actually signed up had they been up front with me. By using the Shady Tactic to Screw with there paying customer they got three months as a Paying Customer out of me. Had they told me up front I wouldn't have signed up. I was sold the plan as $80 a month with a $30 credit = $50 + 12% BC Tax. If they told me up front that it was going to $80 + 12% BC Tax minus $30 credit I wouldn't have signed up. Again we all know they didn't keep the extra Tax but it screwed there own paying customer into paying more. So the Point is why do this.
Even if they do pay the gov't the tax, they still keep in their account making money each month. That extra tax is tens of millions of dollars earning interest.
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Deal Expert
Mar 23, 2004
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engineered wrote: Nope, typical scam by the big 3. Make a "mistake" but only say sorry and refund when they're caught. Should be huge gov't fines and class action lawsuits against these guys, but they're too powerful.
Nah the government is probably in on it with them. Canadian governments will do anything for another tax dollar, and joining in with the rich to take another one out of a regular Joe's pocket, is one of their specialties!
Deal Fanatic
Aug 3, 2014
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Many years ago, TELUS used to give you discounts without taxes, which would be a $10+tax(ON)=$11.3 discount. Then they realized they could do $10 including taxes with a fineprint and get away with it. So now you are getting a $8.85+tax(ON)=$10 discount. The problem is sales reps probably don't even know this scam of their Management, and even if they did, would a sales rep tell you that? You can also see it on the last page of your bill.

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Member
Apr 16, 2013
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Surrey
hvwkzq wrote: Many years ago, TELUS used to give you discounts without taxes, which would be a $10+tax(ON)=$11.3 discount. Then they realized they could do $10 including taxes with a fineprint and get away with it. So now you are getting a $8.85+tax(ON)=$10 discount. The problem is sales reps probably don't even know this scam of their Management, and even if they did, would a sales rep tell you that? You can also see it on the last page of your bill.

Image
I don't get why they would pull stupid stunts like this for there paying customers? I don't get it.
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jattdesi wrote: I don't get why they would pull stupid stunts like this for there paying customers? I don't get it.
engineered wrote: Even if they do pay the gov't the tax, they still keep in their account making money each month. That extra tax is tens of millions of dollars earning interest.
If the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy.

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