Illinois Convenience Store Trouble, Check Your Receipt! You Might be Over Charged Sales tax
Have ever popped into a gas station convenience store to purchase some munchies? Sure you have, but do you bother to look at your receipt? You might want to.
Anyone who knows me, knows that I cannot resist Doritos. The 'munchie urge' can hit me anytime of the day or night, and when it happens, I'll run out and grab some on a moments notice. Last Thursday was was such a day.
On my way to work, I stopped into a convenience store in Monroe Center grabbed a $1.49 bag of Nacho Cheese Doritos, after finishing off the bag in about 60 seconds, I saw the receipt. Take a look below and see if you can spot what is wrong.
Doritos are a pre-packaged food item and should be charged the Illinois food sales tax rate of 1%. I was charged the 6.25% tax rate. (see below)
A couple of important notes:
In Illinois, the higher sales tax can be charged on packaged food items (like Doritos) IF the item is purchased in a restaurant that has seating or the item comes with prepared/cooked food (eg a Subway).
Foods that can be charged the high sales tax rate, according to Illinois law, include candy products and carbonated beverages (soda). Potato chips, Fritos, and Doritos do NOT fall under that designation.
Restaurant foods also falls under the higher tax. Some communities add on additional local sales taxes. For example, the City of DeKalb has one of the state's highest restaurant taxes - at 10%.
According to the Illinois Department of revenue:
With respect to food for human consumption that is to be consumed off the premises where it is sold (other than alcoholic beverages, soft drinks, candy and food that has been prepared for immediate consumption), the tax is imposed at the rate of 1%.
I first contacted officials from Monroe Center to let them know, I did not get anywhere. You gotta love government, the wheels of progress move so slowly.
However, after contacting Andy, the owner of the Monroe Center Oasis, he verified my information with the state, made the correction immediately. It is important to note that it was not the business that was profiting off this, but the state of Illinois who got to keep the proceeds from the sales tax generated.
So if you have shopped here in the past, and purchased chips of any kind, you have contributed more than your fair share to assist of beleaguered state of Illinois
This is not the first time that this has happened to me, it has happened to me before two times in the last year at other convenience stores in the Chicago Area.
Consumers need to check their receipts closely and know the tax laws, so that you are not over charged. If you are, save your receipt and contact the business owner immediately.