Soupspoon wrote:Given this is (presumedly) the US, those weird local sales taxes you have (and the even weirder final figure) must already be in the initial value (minus the things previously normally paid for by semi-involuntary participation in data-scraping anyway, giving $20.45?)…
You have no idea. Here in Minnesota...
Buy a chunk of meat to make a sandwich? Not taxable. Pay the deli guy to slice it for you? Still not taxable. Pay somebody to put the sliced meat on the bread for you? Now it's taxable.
Buy pizza ingredients? Not taxable. Pay someone to assemble them into a pizza for you? Still not taxable, even though sandwich assembly makes sandwiches taxable. Further pay them to cook it for you? Now
Get a massage? Taxable. Did your doctor tell you to? Then it's not.
Here's the general rules
for taxable services here in Minnesota, since "selling" something doesn't mean selling some "thing".
Which links you to a page with 86 separate "fact sheets
" about specific businesses, and what services and products they may sell that are taxable. And what things fall into what category*.
Except for the 22 businesses that need a full "industry guide
," instead of just a fact sheet. (Hopefully all of the ones that overlap with the fact sheets agree on what's taxable, but I wouldn't count on it.) Oh, and those guides aren't just pdfs, they're entire web pages full of their own links...
At least there's a "subscribe" link, so the State updates you whenever it updates these hundreds of pages of sales-tax rules. Hopefully.
This is why amazon.com was in favor of a law requiring businesses to collect sales tax for every state, and not just for the state they're in (the location of the buyer
, not the seller, determines the tax.) They'd have the army of lawyers and programmers to keep track of all of this, times 50**. The folks selling artisanal tchotchkes out of their garage? No chance. (But they could sell through an amazon storefront!)
That law didn't pass, but the Streamlined Sales Governing Board
provides a 254-page document allegedly describing a simplified sales tax plan...
In the U.K.? I figured y'all would give your scandals a more ornate-sounding suffix than -gate.
* e.g. The "candy" document tells you "cotton candy" is not candy. (It does not tell you what it is
, just that it's not candy.) My tax dollars paid someone to come up with this. Hopefully that guy is entirely paid with sales tax collected on cotton candy, so I can claim it's not my fault.
** Well, 50+***, since I'm sure D.C. and Puerto Rico and other non-State parts of the USA have sales taxes too.
*** Did I say 50+? Never mind, there are county and city sales taxes, too. Iowa has 99 counties, and 93 collect their own sales tax, on top of the Iowa state rate.