Single Menu Item Tax Exemption

Hi there,

Please be gentle, I am a noob to Samba and coming into running a business that has been using it for two years - but no one knows how to modify it, the person who installed it no longer works here, and so I’m trying to teach myself. I don’t doubt there is an answer to this somewhere - I have searched and used forum guides to get as far as I am with my issue, and they’ve been very helpful in learning SambaPOS but now I am stuck and can’t find the answer.

Here’s the outline:

In Ontario (and on our restaurant menu), any food & beverages totaling $4 or less sold in a restaurant receive only 5% tax. Any total over $4 receives 13% tax.

I have the tax templates, transaction types and rules for this all set up, no issues there.

However, I have added gift certificates to our menu and they should not receive any taxes. The taxes will be paid when the gift certificates are used, not when they are initially bought.

So - I set up a new 0% tax template and transaction type to apply to the new gift certificate menu button. I mapped the template to only apply to gift certificates on our menu.

The problem is, the 5% and 13% rules are under the “Ticket Total Changed” section. So when I punch in a gift certificate, SambaPOS applies the 0% tax rule, but then (I presume) since the ticket total is over $4, it adjusts the ticket total to apply 13% tax to everything.

I have tested this by removing the 13% tax Ticket Total Changed rule and mapping the 13% rule to individual menu items through “Order Added to Ticket” rules - it works. The gift certificate does not receive any tax in the total, other items do. But the problem then becomes that if the item is under $4 it gets 5% tax, and if the item is over $4 it gets 13% tax, but when they are ordered together the taxes are incorrect. Taxes in Ontario apply to total bill price, not individual item price. So I can’t operate it this way as we will get burned on taxes, and customers will get different prices depending on the order their products are rung in.

SO - how can I have Total Ticket Changed rules that will ignore Gift Certificates as a taxable product when calculating the ticket total? Or is there some other way?

Thank you for all your help, Matt

Are you using a calculation to figure the tax?

Here’s what I’ve whipped up.

So the process is if a gift certificate item is added to the ticket, clear any tax template for that item (if it’s set to auto apply) and set an order state of Tax=Exempt.

When the ticket total changes, select all orders that do not have an order state of Tax set. Then, if the sub total is less than or equal to 4, apply 5% HST; if sub total is greater than 4, apply 13% HST.


Name: TAX Select Orders
Action Type: Select Orders
Order State: [:State Name Expr]

Name: TAX Update Tax Template
Action Type: Update Order
Tax Template: [:Tax Template Name]
Require Selection: True

Name: TAX Update Order State
State Name: [:Name]
State: [:Value]



Name: TAX Order Added - Clear Gift Certificate Tax
Event Name: Order Added to Ticket
Execute Rule If: Matches

  • Menu Item Name [EQUALS] Gift Certificate (or whatever the name of your menu item is for your gift certificates)

Rule Actions:
Action: TAX Update Order State
Name: Tax
Value: Exempt

Name: TAX Update Tax Template
Tax Template Name: . (just a period and nothing else)

Name: TAX Update Taxes
Event Name: Ticket Total Changed

Rule Actions:

Name: TAX Select Orders
State Name Expr: Tax=


Name: TAX Update Tax Template
Constraint: [=TN('{PLAIN TOTAL}')-TN('{ORDER STATE TOTAL:Exempt}')] <= 4
Tax Template Name: 5% HST (change to whatver your template name is)

Name: TAX Update Tax Template
Constraint: [=TN('{PLAIN TOTAL}')-TN('{ORDER STATE TOTAL:Exempt}')] > 4
Tax Template Name: 13% HST (change to whatver your template name is)


Sample database (actions/rules prefixed with “TAX” for this example): (561.8 KB)

Hey Memo,

Thank you for this, it looks very thorough in explanation and guidance, I really appreciate it. I will try applying this on Monday afternoon when we are open again. I’ll keep you posted!