Texas has no state income tax and no city in Texas has a local income tax, however, there is a General Sales Tax (GST), which is currently 8.25% in Houston. GST is not levied on grocery items. The price listed on items is the net price, excluding sales tax, so expect an increase over the label price when you check out. The GST will vary from town to town in Texas as well as state to state.
Unfortunately, you will have to file for U.S. Income taxes while working in the U.S. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) website, www.irs.gov, has all the required information, as well as the forms. Taxes must be filed by April 15th of the following year unless an exemption has been granted. Employees are generally issued W-2 (Earnings Statements) in late January or early February. As a rule, the earlier you file your taxes, the sooner you will receive your refund and the converse is true if you must pay.
One of the toughest areas to get a hold on when you arrive in a new country is the tipping rate. In the U.S. tipping is commonplace, and expected for certain services. The chart below can serve as a basic guide:
Restaurant (table service) 15% or more (before tax)
Bar $1-$2 a round
Hair Salon – stylist $5-$10 depending on service
Hair Salon – shampoo person $2
Nail Salon $5
Hotel / Airport Bellhop $1 per bag
Hotel Room Service 15% (usually included in the bill)
Moving Men (house move) $20 per man
Car Wash $3-$5