Blog Network

About The Bloggers


What Is Candy in Washington State? You Have No Idea

Candy No matter how bad it gets for you at the law firm today, just be happy you are not the person who must sort out the the new "candy tax" for your store in Washington state.

The concept of a candy tax seems simple enough until you ask, well, what constitutes candy? Don't worry -- Washington state has it all figured out for you:

“Candy” means a preparation of sugar, honey, or other natural or artificial sweeteners in combination with chocolate, fruits, nuts, or other ingredients or flavorings in the form of bars, drops, or pieces. Candy does not include any preparation containing flour. Candy does not require refrigeration.

Actually, worry a lot, because a walk through the candy aisle will quickly show you that the candy sold in the year 2010 doesn't fit neatly into any good definition. Washington tries to help with a series of Q&As about treats that are almost-but-not-quite candy. Are bags of trail mix containing small amounts of candy subject to sales tax? (No.) Fruit roll-ups? (Yes.) Sweetened dried fruits? (Yes.) Halvah? (No.) Energy bars? (Yes, if not made with flour.) And so on.

The Q&A, however, cannot begin to address the lengthy list of items that plainly would be candy in anyone's typical definition but still fall outside of the state's definition. For that you need this spreadsheet (via Going Concern) breaking down over 3,200 varieties of sweets.

Just for kicks, pretend you are the person at the store responsible for programming the taxable "candy" items into your cash register, and answer "candy" or "not candy" for the following items (the answers are below):

  1. Reese's Peanut Butter Cup
  2. Red Licorice
  3. Jordan Almonds-Gold
  4. Jordan Almonds-White
  5. Snicker's Bar
  6. Kit Kat
  7. M&M's Peanut
  8. Milky Way
  9. Peppermint Patty
  10. Nestle's Crunch

Answer: All of the odd-numbered items above are "candy," and all of the even-numbered items above are "not candy" according to Washington state.

Posted by Bruce Carton on May 17, 2010 at 01:25 PM | Permalink | Comments (2)


About ALM  |  About  |  Customer Support  |  Privacy Policy  |  Terms & Conditions