Here’s a trick to save taxes on soaring Halloween candy prices

Here’s a trick to save taxes on soaring Halloween candy prices

Halloween shoppers can expect to spend 13% more on treats this October than last season, marking the largest-ever single-year jump in candy prices. Illinois’ tax system this year lets treaters save some dough by picking candy with flour.

Illinois’ Halloween shoppers should expect to pay more for treats this October after federal reports found national candy prices jumped more than 13% since last holiday season – the largest single-year boost ever for candy.

But there’s a way this year to trick the Illinois taxman out of about $1.50.

U.S. candy makers attribute the unprecedented increase in confectionary prices to decades-high inflation driving up labor costs and the price of ingredients, including sugar, milk and flour.

Halloween shoppers will spend about $100 per household on candy, costumes and decorations this October – the second-most ever predicted after 2021, the National Retail Federation estimated. That leaves Americans paying an extra $14 this Halloween season than before the coronavirus pandemic in 2019.

Of that $100, candy will be $29.51.

Illinois is one of 18 states that does not consider candy to be food, meaning residents pay 6.25% in sales tax on confectionery items. That’s $1.84 in sales tax on that $29.51 average candy purchase.

But there’s a trick to avoiding the tax. In Illinois, treats prepared with flour are recognized as food, not candy. Grocery items are typically taxed at 1%, but the 1% grocery tax was suspended in July for a year as part of Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s election-year “Family Relief Plan.”

Kit Kats, Twizzlers, Hershey’s Cookies ’n’ Cream, Goetze’s Caramel Creams, Whoppers and Twix all contain flour, so they are not taxed this Halloween. But they will be again next Halloween, adding about 30 cents to the average purchase.

When the 1% grocery tax resumes in July, Illinois will again be one of only 13 states that taxes the need to eat. That will again take about $400 million from Illinoisans.

Trick for you. Treat for Illinois politicians.


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