Is Twix Candy?

September 3, 2009

Illinois’s new candy tax is causing some confusion over what is considered candy. This confusion stems from Illinois messing with other terminology earlier this week. The state decided to change the characterization of certain candies and soft drinks on Tuesday from “qualifying food and drugs” to “general merchandise” in order to tax those goods at a higher rate—a possible rate increase of five times the previous 2.25%. But, as the Chicago Sun-Times reported,

The law’s definition of candy is simple, but it contains this exception: “Items that contain flour or require refrigeration are not considered candy.”

A quick test of the law Tuesday produced mixed results. While Twix, the chocolate-covered, caramel “cookie bars” carried in the candy aisle of most stores, lists flour as its third ingredient, it was taxed differently at different stores.

Twix isn’t the only tricky item. KitKat bars and some other candy-aisle confections also contain flour. Yet treats containing peanut butter, a popular “food,” are still, by law, candy.

These exceptions within the tax law usually don’t have much logic and add confusion. If you are in Chicago and begin to find a hint of flour in your delicious Peach O’s, you’ll know why.

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