This is definitely something everyone should know before you arrive in Panama.  Some people expect tipping to the be same as it is at home.  It's not.

It is usual and customary to tip 10 percent in restaurants.  Before you do, check your bill first to make sure the "propina" has not already been added to your check.  Taxi drivers do not expect a tip.  Special services such as porters at the airport expect a dollar a bag, as well as bellhops at hotels.

Others who perform services should be tipped at your discretion.  Anywhere from 25 cents to a dollar will do, for something small.

Panama's sales tax is called ITBMS (Impuesto a las Transferencias de Bienes Corporales Muebles y la Prestacion de Servicios) and is 7%.  This tax applies to all goods and services except food, health services and medicine.

10% tax rate applies to hotel or other hospitality services and alcohol.

15% tax rate applies for tobacco products.