Wyoming’s Exemption for Food for Home Consumption
- Aug 7, 2014 | Gail Cole
The Wyoming Department of Revenue recently updated its sales tax guidelines for the restaurant industry. Now it has revised the sales and use tax bulletin, Food for Domestic Home Consumption. It’s essential reading for retailers making food sales in Wyoming.
Food for domestic home consumption has been permanently exempt from Wyoming sales tax since 2007. According to the bulletin, food for domestic home consumption is defined as:
“… substances whether in liquid, concentrated, solid, frozen, dried or dehydrated form that are sold for ingestion or chewing by humans and are consumed for their taste or nutritional value.”
Alcoholic beverages, tobacco and prepared foods are not considered food for domestic home consumption.
It may seem straightforward, but is anything related to tax simple? Indeed, exactly which foods can be considered “for domestic home consumption?” The updated bulletin provides the answers.
Taxable items include but are not limited to:
- Breath strips and sprays.
- Dry ice or block ice.
- Food sold in restaurants.
- Takeout food.
- Food sold in movie theaters or at sporting events.
- Heated deli chicken and similar prepared foods sold at the deli section of grocery stores.
- Heated items, such as breakfast sandwiches and burritos, sold at convenience stores.
- Fountain drinks, ices and similar beverages sold with a cup and straw at convenience stores.
- Soft drinks sold with cup and straw or purchased as part of a prepared meal or from a concessionaire.
Exempt items include but are not limited to:
- Beverages containing less than ½ of 1% of alcohol by volume, unless sold as prepared food.
- Breath mints and chewing gum.
- Deli meats, sliced and packaged and sold by weight.
- Deli salads sold by weight.
- Ice, crushed or cubed.
- Unprepared food and beverages sold off the shelf or from the cooler at convenience stores.
- Products requiring preparation by seller but also additional preparation by the consumer, such as Papa Murphy’s Pizza.
- Soft drinks (see above).
The bulletin also answers questions by retailers about specific items. For example, a lumber store (pet store, automotive retailer, etc) wonders if single serve chips, nuts, and candy bars sold off a rack are taxable or exempt. The Department of Revenue responds that they are generally exempt.
The bulletin is extremely informative. But it also illustrates how complicated sales tax is.
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