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Halloween candy for the kids, adult beverages for parents and taxes for Uncle Sam and the states

Halloween is a big deal for a lot of folks. I like the holiday, but don't go as crazy as some of my neighbors. Houses are decorated and adults dress up more elaborately than their trick or treating kids.

Halloween in my neighborhood
I'm not sure I'd go to this house seeking treats!

The hubby and I simply sit on our porch and hand out candy, particularly enjoying the youngest ghouls and goblins for whom this is the first Oct. 31 where they realize they're getting way more candy than they've ever seen before.

Candy calculations: I try to estimate the optimal amount of Butterfingers and Snickers and Kit Kats and SweetTarts so that we're not left with too much that we must eat. I mean, it would be a shame to waste it and since neither of us has an office to take the left over candy to tomorrow …

But if we do have some sweets left, I discovered, thanks to a tweet by Cory Papineau, an adult way to dispose of the remaining mini candy bars.

Enjoy the excess Halloween candy with an adult beverage.

The VinePair infographic that Cory shared via Twitter (and an excerpt shown below) offers a handy guide of what beer, wine or liquor goes with what popular candies.

Halloween candy and booze pairings infographic_VinePair
Click image to see full chart.

Along the same potent potables and candy line, over at Jelisa Castrodale offers over at Vice Munchies her Completely Serious Guide to Pairing Overpriced Wine with Garbage Halloween Candy.

Scary Halloween taxes: Of course candy and alcoholic beverages have another connection beyond helping parents deal with their kids' Halloween stashes.

They are -- you saw this coming -- taxed.

Yes, even though you buy candy in grocery stores, most states don't consider the treats food, which tends to be (but isn't always) tax-free. That means the sweets we stock up on this time of year are subject to our state and local sales taxes.

As for the booze, excise taxes apply at the federal and state levels.

The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (I must confess that I liked this agency's prior name -- Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms -- better) breaks down the various types and tax rates applied by Uncle Sam to our beer, wine (including champagne and hard cider) and liquor.

And there's more added at the state levels. The Tax Foundation says:

  • Tax treatment of beer varies widely across the United States, ranging from a low of $0.02 per gallon in Wyoming to a high of $1.29 per gallon in Tennessee.
  • Wine taxes also differ extensively across the states, and at higher rates than beer because of greater alcohol content.
  • Compared to taxes on alcoholic beverages such as wine and beer, distilled spirits are taxed at much higher rates across the states, ostensibly to adjust for higher alcohol content.

Just a stray thought. Do Tax Foundation researchers get to sample the taxed products as part of their job? If so, where do I apply?

But I digress, which is something I'll probably be doing more of later today if I have some treat leftovers and use the beverage pairing suggestions.

Boo! Regardless of how you celebrate All Hallows' Eve, have fun, be careful and don't let someone like the bony fellow below scare you!

He was one of the hosts who welcomed my 82-year-old mother to a Halloween party on Saturday night. The hubby and I that evening? We stayed home and watched sports on TV!

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