Do I have to record tips in the cashbook?

Written by Jens B.

Last published at: March 18th, 2024

Please be sure to take note of the following information!
 orderbird does not offer legal or tax advice. All information with legal or tax aspects is in no way to be viewed as legal or tax advice.

In order to provide you with the most reliable instructions possible, our cooperation partner, the tax law firm Buder ( from Berlin, has examined the procedure described below for dealing with the orderbird cashbook and found it to be correct with regard to aspects relevant to tax law . However, it may be that this approach is not suitable for you and your business in particular.

Therefore, be sure to contact your tax advisor for a binding statement on how to use the orderbird cashbook correctly for yourself. Both orderbird and the Buder tax law firm exclude liability for the timeliness, correctness and completeness of the information that orderbird provides here with regard to tax procedures.


Let's go

So do I actually have to record tips in the cashbook? - No. It depends on, …

  1. ... who received the tip (your waiters or you as an entrepreneur) and
  2. ...whether you collect all the tips and then distribute them equally to everyone or whether everyone just keeps the tips they have collected themselves.

It's best to ask your tax advisor directly, as they can give you binding information. As a rough guide:

  • As a business owner (or employer), you have to pay tax on your tips . That's why you have to record them in the cashbook, because they are subject to sales tax and income tax - this means 7% on tips taken away from the house and 19% on tips eaten inside the house. But you don't have to record every tip individually. It is enough if you do this together at the end of your shift. Record the tip in the cashbook with the correct tax rate.
  • If your employees receive a tip, this is exempt from income tax and not taxable for sales tax purposes . It is best to clarify whether you should note this in the cashbook or not directly with your tax advisor.
    A brief explanation of this: In the interests of proper bookkeeping, you should also note this in the cashbook. Here too, it is sufficient if you note the tip in the employee's cashbook at the end of the employee's shift. The prerequisite for tax exemption is that your employees receive tips additionally, voluntarily and directly from the guest. So it shouldn't take the detour through a collection pot for everyone.
    But there is also a ruling according to which voluntary tips for employees do not have to be recorded in the cashbook because they are not the restaurateur's money (FG Cologne from January 27, 2009). ( ).
  • The situation is different if all the tips for the day are collected in one pot and then distributed equally among all heads. The tip is then subject to income and sales tax because it cannot be assigned to one person.

However, it is best to contact your tax advisor and tell them how you deal with tips in your company. She will give you a binding recommendation for action.

Still questions?

What about tips that were given by card and that I pay out in cash at the end of the day?

As far as the taxation of tips via card payment is concerned, the same rules apply as described above. It is important that the tip was recorded correctly in the orderbird app using the Tip query function so that it is also documented in the z report.

If you pay your staff their tips at the end of their shift from the cash in the cash register, you must of course also enter the withdrawal: Post expenses & cash withdrawals. Be sure to note in the comment that you are paying out a tip received by card, the corresponding invoice number and, if applicable, to which of your employees. This means your tax advisor can allocate the withdrawal better.

Please be sure to consult your tax advisor about how to handle tips received by card. She will be able to tell you what the best course of action is in your case.