Illinois has a very weird formula for taxing Halloween candy


I don’t know how you handle things at your house during the Halloween season, but at our house my wife Amy is in charge of handing out the Halloween candy. Amy has a candy-buying rule that she sticks to, and that’s that she’ll only buy Halloween candy that we like.

That means no candy corn, peanut butter kisses (those ugly black and/or orange trash wrapped in waxed paper), Bit-O-Honeys, etc.

Sorry, but this is garbage. (Getty Images)

Sorry, but this is garbage. (Getty Images)

Illinois taxes candy in a very confusing way

According to a piece at IllinoisPolicy.orgIllinois shoppers will pay higher taxes depending on the type of candy they choose for treats, sometimes taxes at least six times higher for some brands.

It’s bad enough that inflation is forcing us to spend way more on Halloween candy (and everything else) than we did a year ago, but now we Illinois residents are learning that candy taxes are far from fair.

studio shot of smiling pumpkin and candy corn on white background

Getty Images

Why are some candies taxed up to six times more than other candies in Illinois?

Curiously, this question can be answered with one word:

Plain flour.

As points out, “In Illinois, treats made with flour don’t count as ‘candy.’ recognized as candy because Illinois considers them food.”

Remember kids, this is food, not candy. (Getty Images)

Remember kids, this is food, not candy. (Getty Images)

And here’s more food that’s definitely not candy. (Getty Images)

And here’s more food that’s definitely not candy. (Getty Images)

Since these candies are not candy but are actually food, is it wrong to serve them to the family for dinner?

Um yes. It’s wrong to serve them to your family for dinner unless you’re a family of elves, but I appreciate the attempt at elementary school logic. However, you are missing out on the general interest of our damn candy taxation in Illinois.

Here in Illinois, candy sales are taxed at 6.25%. However, sweets containing flour are considered regular groceries and taxed at 1%. So the sales tax on a regular Hershey’s chocolate bar is more than six times what the tax would be on a Hershey’s bar containing cookies.

The bottom line is that you can save a lot of money on your Halloween candy shopping just by buying only the candies that contain flour.

SWEET: Here are the most popular Halloween candies

WATCH: 34 spooky dessert recipes for this Halloween


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