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Posted by on Mar 13, 2009 in At TMV, Economy, Politics | 3 comments

The Bizzare World Of Sales Tax

As we head into an era where it is increasingly likely that sales taxes will be raised in many states I thought it might be interesting to explore the somewhat bizzare world that is the sales tax.

I was prompted to write this post because of an experience I had recently in buying my lunch. I’ve been taking advantage of the Subway $ 5 foot long promotion and noticed that sometimes I was charged $ 5 and sometimes I was charged $ 5.40 (IE I was charged sales tax).

I asked about it and was told that if I got the sandwich cold then it was not taxable but that if I got it toasted it was considered ‘warm meat’ and thus was taxable as prepared food.

I have also been told by friends that if you order coffee then it is taxable IF you have it in the Starbucks but if you order it to go then it is not taxable (not being a coffee drinker I cannot confirm this one).

Other quirks include the fact that if you hire a cleaning service for your office or home that cleaning the carpet is subject to sales tax but cleaning the drapes is not taxable, custom made software is not taxable but prepackaged software is taxable and of course we have all the bizzare internet rules which decide what is and is not subject to tax.

So chime on in with your own experiences with odd sales tax rules, see who can come up with the most bizzare one

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