Illinois Has A Very Weird Formula For Taxing Halloween Candy


I don’t know how you run things at your house during Halloween season, but at our place, my wife Amy is in charge of allocating Halloween candy. Amy has a candy-buying rule that she lives by, and that is she’ll only buy Halloween candy that we like.

That means no candy corn, peanut butter kisses (those awful black and/or orange wax paper-wrapped tooth-breaking pieces of garbage), Bit-O-Honeys, etc.

Sorry, but these are garbage. (Getty Images)

Sorry, but these are garbage. (Getty Images)

Illinois Taxes Candy In A Very Head-Scratching Sort Of Way

According to a piece at, Illinois shoppers will pay higher taxes depending on the type of candy they choose for trick-or-treaters, sometimes at least six times higher taxes for some brands.

It’s bad enough that inflation is causing us to spend a lot more on Halloween candy (and everything else) than we would have even a year ago, but now we Illinois residents learn that candy taxes are far from being equitable.

studio shot of smiling pumpkin and corn candies on white background

Getty Images

Why Is Some Candy Taxed Up To Six Times More Than Other Candy In Illinois?

Strangely enough, that question can be answered with one word:


As points out“In Illinois, treats prepared with flour don’t count as ‘candy.’ That means Halloween favorites with flour including Kit Kats, Twizzlers and Twix aren’t recognized as candy because Illinois considers them to be food.”

Remember kids, this is food, not candy. (Getty Images)

Remember kids, this is food, not candy. (Getty Images)

And here’s more food that totally isn’t candy. (Getty Images)

And here’s more food that totally isn’t candy. (Getty Images)

Since Those Candies Aren’t Candies But Are Actually Food, Is It Wrong To Serve Them To The Family For Dinner?

Um, yes. It is wrong to serve them to your family for dinner unless you’re a family of elves, but I appreciate the attempt at grade school logic. However, you’re missing the overall point of our screwed up candy taxing in Illinois.

Here in Illinois, candy sales are taxed at 6.25%. But, treats containing flour are considered regular grocery items and taxed at 1%. So the sales tax for a regular Hershey’s chocolate bar is over six-times what the tax would be on a Hershey’s bar that has cookies in it.

The bottom line to all of this is that you can save yourself a bunch of money when buying your Halloween candy simply by buying only the candies that contain flour.

SWEET: Here are the most popular Halloween candies


LOOK: 34 spooky dessert recipes for this Halloween


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