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Funny But True: 15 Things That Are Taxed

Sliced Bagels
In New York City, bagels that are sliced or prepared are subject to sales tax, whereas whole bagels are not, according to the Wall Street Journal. Did the person or group who came up with this idea initiate a schmear campaign to get it on the books?

If you live in Durham, North Carolina, you could be paying a tax on Rover. The state charges a $10 tax for neutered and spayed pets and $75 for pets that are not neutered or spayed, according to Turbo Tax. I wonder if animal shelters qualify for the $60 discount if they neuter and spay their pets.

In Illinois, all candies are subject to an extra tax, unless they contain flour, like the Whopper (not the burger). Are sugar-free candies exempt?

Elderly Tax Exemption
By the time you’re 100, you’ve paid enough in taxes, at least according to the state of New Mexico, where people over 100 years old are tax-exempt. The question remains as to what percentage of New Mexico residents live long enough to qualify for the exemption.

Flushing The Toilet
If it’s yellow, let it mellow could be the motto of some Maryland and Virginia residents looking to save money. In these two states there’s a tax on flushing the toilet, according to Bing. Those with IBS and UTI’s might want to stay away from areas subject to this tax.

Illegal Drugs
Tennessee anonymously collects a tax on illegal drugs, according to NPR. In 2006, the state collected $1.5 million from the tax. Depending on your point of view, the state is either profiting indirectly from illegal drugs, or taxing everyone because “they might be doing drugs”. I hope this money goes to rehab programs…

Children’s Diapers
Adult diapers are exempt from sales tax in Connecticut, but if you’re buying diapers for your kids you’ll have to pay taxes on those, according to Thomson Reuters. I wonder how many parents buy adult diapers for their kids to save money.

Colorado levies a tax on “non essential” food packaging items, according to Business Insider. That means you’ll pay a tax on paper cup lids and napkins, but not on paper cups themselves. No word on if paper towels are used in their place.
Workplace Nudity
Businesses in Utah that employ nude or partly nude workers are required to pay a 10 percent sales tax, according to U.S. News and World Report.

Decks Of Cards
If you buy cards in Alabama you’ll pay a 10 cent tax on the deck, according to Turbo Tax. Meanwhile, Nevada gives free decks in exchange for completed returns. In Vegas, the house always wins, and in Alabama, the cards are stacked against you. No word on if tarot or UNO cards are subject to the tax.

Holiday Decorations
In Texas, holiday-themed pictures that are meant to be placed on walls are taxed, according to

In Arkansas, there’s a 6 percent sales tax on tattoos, according to Turbo Tax.

New York has a tax on litigation, according to ABC News.

Hot Air Balloons
In Kansas, you have to pay taxes on that hot air balloon ride — or risk flying away. In that state tethered balloons are taxed, but those that roam free are not because they are considered a legitimate form of transportation, according to ABC. Apparently, Oscar Diggs won’t be guilty of tax evasion if he ever returns from Oz…

Fresh Fruit Vending Machines
Another reason not to buy your fruit from a vending machine. Fresh fruit is exempt from sales tax in California, unless it’s sold from a vending machine, according to U.S. News and World Report. And who exactly buys fresh fruit from a vending machine? When was the last time you saw a banana dispensing kiosk?

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Benefits of Employee Self-Service

HR departments have many things to manage, including payroll, taxes, benefits, workman’s comp, and much more.  One way to help minimize the burden of managing employee taxes and benefits is is employee self-service.

What is Employee Self-Service?
Do you remember when gas stations used to have extra attendants who would pump gas for you, wash your windshield, and you give them a tip?  In many parts of the United States, we now do these things ourselves, allowing gas stations to reduce overhead and operating expenses by not having those extra attendants on staff.  Employee Self-Service is quite similar.  Imagine yourself as an employee who just got married and moved to a new address.  Instead of going to HR and asking for a W4 form, adding your spouse to your medical/dental insurance, and updating your mailing address, all of these changes can now be performed online – even from home!  It’s an easy way to manage these things on your own, and get the changes you need done instantly, rather than having to wait for HR to process them when their workload is high.

Is Employee Self-Service Secure?
Yes!  When you login to your email, for example, your username and password are protected by security features such as Secure Sockets Layer (SSL).  SSL and other techniques ensure the privacy of your information by ensuring that third parties cannot easily break in and make changes to your account.

Will Employee Self-Service Be Easy For Me To Use?
Absolutely.  Employee Self-Service isn’t something you will need to use everyday, but when you do need it, it is there, and using the website is typically straightforward.

What Happens If I Forget My Password?
Like most websites that require you to login, should you forget your username or password, there are options available which enable you to retrieve or reset your login information.  You will need to login to the email address your have on file, and/or answer a few security questions to verify your identity before continuing, but this is no different than retrieving or resetting your email password.

Are There Any Other Benefits Of Employee Self-Service?
It depends on the company, but usually employees can view their pay stubs, see their deductions, tax information, and make changes to their benefits (when applicable).

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