Waiters like cash tips because they do not report the tips to the IRS and so keep all of the money. (Perhaps not all waiters, but the majority, per some web sites.) Tips put on a credit card are easier for the IRS to track.

I would like to make the waiters happy in this regard (esp since they are paid such low hourly wages, less than the usual minimum) but is there halacha that I should be considering?

Does it make a difference if I pay the restaurant bill with a credit card and leave the tip in cash versus paying both in cash? (I prefer to pay with credit card to get the points.)

Does it matter if the waiter is Jewish or not?

  • 2
    You are not causing the waiter to avoid taxes. As far as you know the waiter is paying taxes on the tips. In fact, the IRS often assumes a certain amount of tips based on the salary or working hours at a restaurant and will expect it to be declared. not declaring tips can trigger an audit. – sabbahillel Jan 29 '17 at 18:45
  • Is paying cash in any sales context necessarily a michshol? – rosends Jan 29 '17 at 19:37
  • @sabbahillel I am not causing the water to violate the law of the land, but I am providing a temptation (an avoidable temptation). Is providing a temptation the same as aiding and abetting, or at least enabling and perhaps encouraging? – Yehuda W Jan 29 '17 at 19:41
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    Your question doesn't indicate what you think the halachic problem might be. Lifne iver of gezel? Handling cash, which has a face on it? Violation of dina d'malchusa of aiding tax evasion? Maybe more than one of the above? – msh210 Jan 29 '17 at 22:21
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    What about לא תחנם? – Zev Spitz Jan 29 '17 at 22:47

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