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.

Image: Shutterstock

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.

Image: Shutterstock

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.

Image: Shutterstock

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.

Image: Shutterstock

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

Image: Shutterstock

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.

Image: Thinkstock



10 Ways to Destroy the Value of a Company

Klatzkin & Co.ís Stephen Klein shares the biggest mistakes business owners make

View the slideshow >>


Sources of Tax Confusion

Tax pros share their most confusing forms, clients and more

View the slideshow >>


Ready for Tax Season?

Tax pros share their pre-season to-do lists

View the slideshow >>


Most Outrageous Tax Deductions of 2016

The Minnesota Society of Certified Public Accountants recently surveyed its CPA members in public accounting on the most outrageous tax deductions clients tried to take on their tax returns. The resulting list shows that, more often than not, clients just donít know which deductions are allowed.

View the slideshow >>


Beyond the Extenders: The Tax Legacy of 2015

Critical legislation and court decisions from last year

View the slideshow >>


Top Stories in Accounting in 2015

Our editorsí picks for what made news in the profession this year

View the slideshow >>


Meet the 2015 Best Midsized and Large Firms to Work For

An inside look at some of the best midsized and large workplaces in accounting

View the slideshow >>


Meet the 2015 Best Small Firms to Work For

An inside look at some of the best small workplaces in accounting

View the slideshow >>


Tax Alpha: Making the Most of RMDs

Helping clients make minimum distributions go further

View the slideshow >>


2016 in Numbers

Your peers' predictions for the next year in accounting

View the slideshow >>