Most basic food items, such as bread, milk, rice, cheese, ham etc. are NOT subject to VAT. If they charge it they are ocketing it, because they are not remitting it. No suermarket should charge VAT-ITBIS for basic food stales which are ITBIS exempt.
Don't plan on going there I'm not interested in Sosua, Caberete, nor Puerto Plata...............infested with awkward and odd non-latinos the majority don't know, understand, nor appreciate Dominican culture just there for the cheap pie.
What was the surprise? All sellers are required to collect it. Depending on the store, it is either included in the post price, then broken down on the receipt or it is added to the posted price at check out.
@Ken - most of the large stores post prices with ITBIS included, same practice as in Euroe where prices quoted include VAT. Now for services it depends, many are quoted without taxes. But physical goods are mostly quoted final price.
At Janet's, in Caberete, the receipt shows the VAT on the left column, and the price without VAT on the right column. At the bottom you get the total, including the VAT, and the VAT seperately.
If you pay by CC or ATM card, they enter the total including VAT on the machine, but somehow they also have to enter the VAT seperately.
Although it is a very correct way to do it, it sometimes is a pain in the ass. Our cleaning lady sometimes asks me to bring a couple of items from Janets, as they are a lot cheaper for her than at her local colmado. She reimburses me for them, but it means I have to add the VAT to all prices again.
The Playero receipts are set up correctly....The right column shows the amount before tax and the left column shows the amount of tax if applicable and if there is none on that item it shows a Zero tax. The bottom of the list shows the breakdown of total tax applicable and total goods price and final total. For instance on a receipt from today Mangos, yogurt, eggs and sliced ham had zero tax but hair shampoo, soft drinks, wine, snack foods all had tax.