Sales tax confusion
If the Minnesota Legislature is indeed interested in making this an “Unsession,” dedicated to cleaning up and clearing up obsolete, confusing and redundant laws on the books, the state’s sales tax regulations would be a good place to start.
The Minnesota Society of Certified Public Accounts this past week offered up a collection of “quirky” sales tax rules that can be very confusing, even for a CPA. Here are a few:
You pay tax on a Snickers, but not a Twix. Candy bars containing flour are not taxable, those without are taxable.
If you buy fabric to make a garment, it is not taxable. Fabric sold for any other reason is taxable.
A man who buys a belt doesn’t pay tax, because it’s “clothing.” But a fancy belt buckle is an “accessory,” and is taxable.
Do you rent a locker at a bowling alley? If the locker is permanently attached to the building, its use is not taxable. If it is not attached, it’s taxable.
If you hire a housekeeper to wash dishes, make beds and pick up, the service is not taxable. But if the duties include cleaning floors and bathrooms? Taxable.
Hire a snowplowing service and its not taxable. Hire a landscaper or lawmowing service, and its taxable.
If you hire a computer tech to repair computer equipment or reinstall software, and it’s not taxable. Hire the same tech to set up your computer or install new software, and you’ll pay sales tax.
We suppose it makes sense to someone, but it sure is confusing.