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Enjoy a doughnut as you ponder food taxes

Giphy (4)I'm generally a cereal person when it comes to breakfast, cold in the summer and the occasional bowl of oatmeal or Malt-O-Meal in those few months when temperatures drop here in Central Texas.

Today, though, I'm going to stop by my local doughnut shop.

Why the change to the most important meal of the day? It's National Doughnut Day! Or National Donut Day if you're into texting or Twitter and are looking for a character shortcut.

In addition to giving me an excuse a reason to munch on a sweetened round of iced dough, today is a chance to acknowledge the very serious origins of doughnuts. And — wait for it — taxes,  of course.

Saluting doughnuts' military connection: As I noted in my Doughnut Day post back in 2014 when this culinary celebration fell on D-Day, there's a military connection.

During World War I, Salvation Army officers who went to Europe to comfort U.S. troops did so by talking to the soldiers, helping them write letters home and, yes, bringing them freshly-made doughnuts.

General Mark Clark enjoys a warm Red Cross doughnut during  a break along the WWII Italian Front in 1944_Records of the Office of War Information

The treats were so welcomed by the members of the military that the Salvation Army reprised its doughnut serving duties during World War II.

In fact, doughnuts were so popular that other military aid organizations also took to handing out the goodies. That's a Red Cross "Donut Dolly" there to the right serving Gen. Mark Clark a warm doughnut during a break in hostilities along the WWII Italian Front in 1944, courtesy of the Records of the Office of War Information and the National Archives.

Paying doughnut tax dollars: If you join me today in saluting doughnuts, you could end up paying a bit more dough for your dough.

Sales tax data compiled by the Federation of Tax Administrators shows that many states or local jurisdictions within them collect tax on food products. Sometimes it's a lower rate than is applied to other products.

Then there's the issue of where you buy it. For most  eat-in items — that typically means a restaurant, casual or more dressy, where you sit at a table and consume — you'll pay tax on the meal. And some places tax only what is legislatively deemed "bad" food, generally things like candy, high-fat products or sugar-sweetened beverages. It can get complicated as Utah's food tax flow-chart indicates.

Saving doughnut dollars: But there's good news today. Many doughnut sellers are offering their goodies for free on National Doughnut Day.

Krispy Kreme will give you one free doughnut of your choice, no purchase necessary at participating locations.

Dunkin' Donuts At shops that are taking part in today's celebration will give you a free classic doughnut of your choice when you buy any beverage. The special offer is available all day Friday while supplies last. 

Tim Hortons will give you a free classic doughnut when you mention National Doughnut Day and buy a coffee at participating shops.

You can find more doughnut special deals in this USA Today story or just check with your local bakery.

You also might find these items of interest:

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Comments

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Darren @ MyDealsClub

Who knew the history of donuts was so colorful in so many ways . And good on Dunknin Donuts for getting behind the cause , Just reading this is making be wanna go get a donut right now !!

rose

Thanks

Missy@ Mighty Taxes

Nice! Never knew about the military / doughnut connection. I also was surprised to read that the Red Cross actually started charging soldiers for the doughnuts in 1942. (after complaints by British soldiers who had to pay for their doughnuts) This created controversy, and apparently some U.S. soldiers never forgave the Red Cross. http://www.npr.org/sections/money/2012/07/13/156737801/the-cost-of-free-doughnuts-70-years-of-regret - Interesting little history, Thanks!

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