Sales Tax on Food Exemption    Starting  7/1/06

 

Q.  Is food sold in restaurants taxable?

A.  Yes. Food sold in restaurants is prepared food, typically sold with utensils and is designed for immediate consumption.

 

Q.  Are soft drinks exempt as food?

A.  Yes, unless they are sold in a cup provided by the seller or sold from a vending machine. The soft drink is then considered prepared food to be sold for immediate consumption.

 

Q.  Is candy taxable or is it food?

A.  Candy is food and is generally exempt unless sold in a vending machine at which point it is taxable. Candy from a vending machine is typically designed to be consumed immediately.

 

Q.  Are cough drops considered food?

A.  No. They are not consumed for taste or nutrition. They are a medicine designed to treat a condition. This answer applies to all over-the-counter medications and remedies.

 

Q.  Are alcoholic beverages taxable?

A.  Yes. These products are excluded from the definition of food.

 

Q.  Are gift sets that bundle non-food items and food items taxable? For example, is a gift set containing a stuffed toy and candy taxable?
A.  If the majority of the purchase or sales price is comprised of exempt food items, then the bundle takes on the character of the exempt items. If the majority of the purchase or sales price is comprised of taxable items such as toys, then the bundle takes on the character of the taxable items.

 

Q.  How does this new law affect Farmer’s Markets?

A.  The bulk of food sold at a farmer’s market is clearly intended to be taken home for later consumption and exempt from sales tax. But some food concessionaires sell food for immediate consumption; e.g. prepared hot foods, soft drinks sold in a cup, ice cream or sno-cones, etc. These are 'prepared foods' and subject to Wyoming sales tax.

 

Q.  Is ice taxable?

A.  Crushed or cubed ice is considered food for domestic home consumption, and will be sales tax exempt. Block or dry ice is using for cooling, not consumption, and remains subject to sales tax.

 

Q.  Is non-alcoholic beer taxable?

A.  Non-alcoholic beer typically contains less than 0.5% alcohol, and is exempt from sales tax. Alcoholic beverages containing 0.5% or more of alcohol will remain subject to sales tax.

 

Q.  Are breath mints and chewing gum taxable?

A.  Breath mints and chewing gum are exempt as candy, unless they are sold via a vending machine or at a concessionaire.

 

Q.  Are breath strips or breath sprays taxable?

A.  Breath strips and breath sprays remain subject to sales tax, as they are commonly used for a hygienic purpose – to kill germs, freshen breath, etc. These items are not consumed merely for taste or nutrition.

 

Q.  Are non-alcoholic beverages such as non-alcoholic beers and wines exempt?

A.  If the beverages contain less than ˝ % of alcohol by volume then they are not considered an alcoholic beverage and are considered food and thus tax exempt.

 

Q.  Are bakery products exempt?

A.  Generally yes, unless the bakery good is sold with utensils or is combined with other food products by the seller. An example of this would be a bagel and cream cheese or a sandwich. These would then become prepared foods and taxable. However a loaf of bread or a bag of bagels or donuts made in a bakery would be exempt.

 

Q.  Are foods sold in a deli section of the grocery store exempt?

A.  Generally yes, with the notable exception of heated foods and foods sold with utensils provided by the seller. Deli meats, sliced and packaged by the seller and sold by weight are exempt as are deli salads sold by weight. Heated deli chicken and other products heated by the seller are taxable. A salad sold in a package with a fork and dressing would be taxable as prepared food.

 

Q.  Are products which require preparation by the seller but which will require additional preparation by the consumer exempt from the tax?

A.  Yes. A good example of this would be a fresh pizza offered for sale by a vendor. A notable example of this is Papa Murphy’s Pizza. The pizza is prepared by the vendor however is sold without being cooked. The pizza must be cooked by the purchaser.

 

Q.  Is cooking sherry or cooking wine taxable?

A.  Liquids used in cooking that exceed the alcohol content of 0.5% but are not intended for sale as a beverage (drinkable liquid), are sales tax exempt food and food ingredients.

 

Q.  Are flavored extracts, such as vanilla extract, taxable?

A.  Liquids used in cooking that exceed the alcohol content of 0.5% but are not intended for sale as a beverage (drinkable liquid), are sales tax exempt food and food ingredients.

 

Q.  Are wedding cakes taxable?

A.  Wedding cakes picked up from a grocer or bakery are not subject to sales tax unless the vendor also provides utensils such as plates, forks or serving utensils as part of the price for the wedding cake. Wedding cakes sold and served by a caterer are taxable as prepared foods.

 

Q.  Is a 5-gallon bottle of water subject to sales tax?

A.  A 5-gallon bottle of water is not subject to sales tax.

 

Q.  Are novelty candies, such as Pez dispensers, considered exempt candy?

A.  No. If the value of the toy exceeds 50% of the price of the item, then the candy/toy combination would be subject to sales tax. However, candy refills would be exempt food.

 

Q.  Are party trays containing cold products like cheese, sliced meats, fruits or vegetables taxable?

A.  If the tray is sold based on the weight of the finished tray and no utensils are provided, such a tray is exempt from sales tax. However, if the party tray comes with utensils, or is priced based on the diameter of the tray, the party tray will remain subject to sales tax.

 

Q.  If I own a hotel/restaurant, and have a long-term guest, is what s/he buys subject to sales tax?

A.  The guest’s status as a short-term or a long-term guest is not the determining factor. Anything purchased from a vending machine is subject to sales tax. Anything purchased from the restaurant or room service that is hot or comes with utensils is subject to sales tax.

 

Q.  I have a lumber store that has a 20-foot long rack of single serve packages of chips, nuts, candy bars, etc. Are these taxable?

A.  Single serve packages of snacks are exempt food regardless if they are sold at a lumber store, an office supply store, a convenience store or a grocery store. Such items transition to taxable if they are sold via a vending machine, at a concessionaire, as part of a meal deal, or with utensils.