2013-01-28 15:32:43 -
Strange Laws Underscore Need for Technology and Expertise to Manage Complex
Indirect Tax Process
New York, January 28, 2013 -The Tax & Accounting business of Thomson Reuters
today revealed a sampling of 2012 quirky indirect tax changes, emphasizing the
importance of corporate tax technology and expertise to help navigate the
dynamic indirect tax and VAT landscape.
"While some of the changes may seem odd and unnecessary, they highlight how
challenging it is for corporations to stay on top of the sea of changing
indirect and value-added tax laws," said Carla Yrjanson, vice president of Tax
Research and Content for Thomson Reuters."
Thomson Reuters provides a trusted indirect tax software platform used by
leading global companies. Companies that have deployed indirect tax solutions
from Thomson Reuters benefit from a proven technology infused with
timely tax content, which enables them to seamlessly comply with tax changes
A few of the 2012 "quirky" sales and use tax highlights include:
* In Illinois, fans of Whoppers malted milk balls are in luck. The Illinois
candy tax applies to all candies, unless they contain flour, like Whoppers
(IL FY 2010-01 July 2009; Illinois DOR Informational Bulletin).
* 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 (Advisory Opinion issued October 24, 2012).
* 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 (36 MRSA § 2020 signed into law July 6, 2011,
effective October 1, 2012).
* 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
(MD SB 755/HB 228; Maryland Tax Bulletin 12-1 signed into law April
10, 2012, effective July 1, 2012).
* 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 (effective October 1, 2012).
* In Connecticut, not all diapers are created equal. Adult diapers are tax
exempt, but children's diapers are taxed.
* In Alabama, playing card decks that contain less than 54 cards are charged
an additional $0.10 excise tax. To ensure compliance, each taxable deck
must have "revenue stamps" affixed to the individual package. The stamps
must be affixed in such a manner that their removal will require continued
application of water or steam. All taxable playing cards found in the
possession of any person, firm, corporation, club or association without
having stamps affixed in this manner are subject to confiscation (Acts
1935, No. 194, p. 256; Code 1940, T. 51, §573; Acts 1951, No. 978, p. 1653;
* 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 (see: newsfixnow.com/2012/11/14/spanish-
For more information on ONESOURCE Indirect Tax, visit:
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