Tax This, Not That
Sales tax rules may not be a topic of dinner conversation or family road trip banter, but they can be oddly amusing in their own way. From car seats to coats, when and where to charge sales tax can leave even the most savvy online retailer in the dark.
Here's just a small sample of sales tax oddities:
1. Cajun coat storage: In Louisiana, the storage of fur items such as coats, hats and earmuffs is subject to sales tax, if that storage is considered "cold storage." This is particularly good news for those two months of the year when Louisiana is a freezing 75 degrees. Federation of Tax Administrators
2. Get down from that ladder: As if mushroom farming wasn't complicated enough, Pennsylvania exempts certain mushroom-farming-related items from sales tax, including boots, boilers and brooms. However, the ladders your operation uses are subject to sales tax. Pennsylvania Department of Revenue
3. Bad Santa: Planning to hire Santa's helpers to decorate your beautiful Malibu home for the holidays? You might want to buy your own lights, reindeer and blow-up Santa first. If customers supply holiday decorations, the labor costs associated with hanging lights and trimming trees aren't taxable. California Board of Equalization
4. The eyes have it: In Texas, contact lens solution is taxable, unless it's applied directly to the eye for medicinal purposes. In this case, it would be considered an over-the-counter medication and therefore exempt from sales tax. Texas Department of Revenue
5. Carseats in Connecticut: In Connecticut, sales tax isn't charged on child safety seats, but the exemption only applies to the sale of additional bases to be used in a second vehicle. On the other hand, travel systems that combine a safety seat and stroller or travel system are taxable. In response to this announcement, one Connecticut stay-at-home dad reportedly asked, "What about the baby seat I use in my motorcycle sidecar?" Connecticut Department of Revenue