Roses Are Red, Violets Are Blue, Sugar Is Sweet, But Are Taxes Due?

Wolters Kluwer Tax & Accounting looks at taxes on popular Valentine’s gifts

Most states have a sales tax on consumer purchases. Currently, only five states do not: Alaska, Delaware, Montana, New Hampshire, and Oregon. However, state laws vary greatly as to what purchases are exempt from their sales taxes.

Which sweetheart gifts are subject to taxes

The following are some likely categories of Valentine’s Day gifts and the states in which they are subject to sales tax or exemption:

  • Floral Arrangements: Floral arrangements are generally taxable in all states except MI, where plants purchased at a business that accepts food stamps are excluded from sales tax. Food producing plants are exempt in CA, FL, MA, NV, TX and WI
  • Candy: These states generally apply a sales tax for candy: AL, AR, CO, CT, FL, HI, ID, IL, IN, IA, KS, KY, ME, MD, MN, MO, MS, NJ, NY, NC, ND, OK, RI, SD, TN, TX, UT, VA, and WI. Candy is generally exempt from sales tax in AZ, CA, GA, LA, MA, MI, NE, NV, NM, OH, PA, SC, VT, WA, WV, WY, and the District of Columbia
  • Jewelry: Jewelry purchases are generally taxable in every state that has a sales tax, though Connecticut has a higher rate for purchases over $5,000. New York provides that specialty or jewelry teeth are not exempt prosthetic dental devices and therefore are taxable
  • Dinner Out (or “prepared food” in sales tax speak): Taxable in all states with a sales tax
  • Alcoholic Beverages: Alcoholic Beverages are taxable in all states with a sales tax, except Kansas and Massachusetts
  • Admissions: Admissions to entertainment events are taxable in AL, AZ, AR, CT, FL, GA, HI, ID, IA, KS, KY, LA, MN, MS, MO, NE, NJ, NM, NY, NC, ND, OK, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VT, WA, WV, WI, WY, and the District of Columbia. Admissions are exempt in CA, CO, IL, IN, ME, MD, MA, MI, NV, OH, PA, RI, and VA

Our experts ‘love’ sharing their knowledge on taxes

Tax expert Carol Kokinis-Graves, JD, Senior State Tax Analyst for Wolters Kluwer Tax & Accounting, is available to discuss the potential state sales tax issues surrounding Valentine’s Day gifts and similar state sales tax issues.

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