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Strangest Tax Laws

State lawmakers can certainly think of some strange tax laws. The Tax & Accounting business of Thomson Reuters recently produced its annual list of "quirky" sales and use tax laws from the past year.

In Illinois, fans of Whoppers malted milk balls are in luck. Candies that contain flour, like the Whopper, are exempt from the state's candy tax, which applies to all other candies.

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While food and food products are typically tax exempt, New York has deemed vegan edible gummy drinking glasses taxable. Under the current ruling, the glasses were deemed a confection and therefore taxable under current sales and use tax law.

Boat enthusiasts are rejoicing in Maine as a result of the new tax exemption for parts and supplies such as sails, rope, rigging and masts used for operating, repairing and maintaining windjammers used to ferry people and cargo as a business activity.

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Wine lovers in Maryland are now subject to double taxation should they wish to bring their own bottle of wine to their favorite restaurant. Under the new ruling, residents are taxed for having someone open the bottle for them.

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Retiring just got sweeter for residents of Sitka, Alaska, who are now exempt from sales tax for the purchase of goods, services and rentals after reaching the ripe age of 65.

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In Connecticut, not all diapers are created equal. Adult diapers are tax exempt, but children’s diapers are taxed.

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This last one is not really an odd tax law, but rather a twist on a “normal” tax law turned strange by a business owner. A theater owner in Spain came up with a unique solution to falling ticket sales after the VAT on admissions to theaters was raised to 21 percent this summer: carrots. Since vegetables are subject to a reduced rate (currently 4 percent), the theater has transformed itself into a produce stand of sorts. Now when customers opt to buy their carrots from the theater for a mere $16, they are treated to a free theatrical performance.

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