Here’s an interesting sales-tax conundrum that my beautiful sister brought to my attention this evening.
She headed out to Menards, where Mars Fun Size candies are on sale for $1.98 per bag — the best price in town right now for Halloween candy. The 10/4 RP1 coupon insert has a $2-off-3 coupon, dropping these to about $1.31 per bag. (There’s a $1-off-2 printable too if you need another coupon for this deal!)
My sister said that her local Menards (Glendale Heights, Illinois) was having trouble ringing up more than one coupon per transaction, so she split her order into two transactions — three bags of Twix in one, three bags of Snickers in the other.
Take a look at her receipts:
On the left receipt, she bought three $1.98 bags of Twix. After coupon, with tax, she paid $6.04 — .10 was tax. On the right, she bought three $1.98 bags of Snickers. After coupon, with tax, she paid $6.43 — .49 was tax! She texted me asking “What would Jill Cataldo do?” (Ha!)
In Illinois, candy is taxed at a higher rate than food, something I think everyone is aware of. What you may not realize is that the Illinois Tax Code’s definition of “candy” differs from what most people would think of as “candy.” Candy that contains any kind of flour is… “not candy.” From the tax code:
Products whose ingredient list contain the word “flour”, regardless of the type of flour (e.g., wheat, rice) are not candy.
Because Twix bars contain flour, the state of Illinois considers them food, not candy. Kind of makes you want to read the labels of what you’re buying to hand out this Halloween season, doesn’t it?
Guess what else — Twizzlers and other brands of licorice also contain flour, so they too are “not candy.”
If you’re an Illinois shopper who’s really looking to save money on your Halloween candy, seek out “not candy” that lists flour in the ingredients..!