Tax Center

America's quirkiest tax laws

Forbes

Consumer tax season officially kicked off Jan. 31 when the IRS began accepting individual returns for processing. Though my posts are generally focused on corporate tax issues, the looming personal tax deadline got me thinking about the current tax situation for individuals and just how confusing it can be for a single person – let alone a multinational corporation – to file their taxes accurately each year. One of the benefits of working in a large company is that I have access to lots of interesting data and information from our internal teams. With the individual tax return deadline in mind, I thought I’d share some of the wacky taxes that the Thomson Reuters indirect tax team recently shared with me. Some of the “quirkiest” tax laws of 2013:

The Sandwich Tax: Hungry for revenue, two Massachusetts cities increased the tax on meals from 6.25% to 7%. The cities? Sandwich and Salisbury.

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Another Reason to Smile: Straighter teeth just got cheaper in Arizona. Orthodontic devices are no longer subject to sales and use tax.

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Ahoy Greenwich: Connecticut did away with its luxury tax on yachts, and tax is exempted all together if the boat is docked 60 days or less a year.

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Cracked Backs & Tax: In North Carolina, chiropractors must collect sales tax on nutritional supplements and vitamins provided as part of a patient’s treatment plan, and students must pay sales tax on meals purchased on college campuses.

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[More from Forbes: Will tax Incentives Make Austin The Video Game Capital Of The World?]

Drink Up in the Ocean State: Rhode Island eliminated sales and use tax on wine and spirits sold at package and liquor stores from Dec. 1, 2013 through March 31, 2015.

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Up in Smoke: The legalization of recreational marijuana comes with a hefty tax. Both Washington and Colorado are taxing pot at a whopping 25 percent.

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[More from Forbes: Who Will tax Bitcoin And How?]

Half-Baked: In Washington state, hiring a personal chef is a taxable service, and the chef is required to collect sales tax. However, if a meal is prepared with raw or undercooked eggs, fish, meat or poultry and refrigerated or frozen for consumption at a later time, and cooked prior to consumption to prevent food-borne illness, then the tax is waived.

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