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Turkey Day thanks and taxes

Thanksgiving meal Zeetz Jones Flickr CC
It's turkey time! Thanksgiving spread photo courtesy Zeetz Jones via Flickr CC.

Happy Turkey Day!

I hope you and yours are having a wonderful Thanksgiving Day. It's subdued at our house this year, just the hubby and me. My mom is spending the day with some extended family.

Plus, due to some dining issues created by recent oral surgery, our menu — OK, my menu — is limited to mashed potatoes and gravy.

That means the hubby gets to pig out for the both of us. But I'm thankful that I can still enjoy the super creamy pumpkin pie that he makes every year.

One other thing for which to say thanks on this late November Thursday is that in most places, the bulk of our repast is tax-free. Only a handful of states tax food.

Taxes on most everything else: Of course, grocery stores sell all the necessary dining accoutrements and those tend to have sales tax tacked on. This includes such things as tableware, platters, flatware, that special big pan for the turkey.

To set the mood, if you bought candles, centerpieces and other decorative items like table runners or items from craft stores to place strategically throughout the house, those touches were probably taxed.

And, of course, the toasts you raise to celebrate all for which you're thankful face a number of taxes.

Soft drinks and other sugary beverages are taxable, even more so in some places. So are the adult beverages like wine and liquor, which in addition to sales taxes include in their prices state and federal alcohol excise taxes.

Taxable medicine, too: Overeat much? You are not alone. Unless you didn't get the word and serve Romaine lettuce in a dish, you should be able to tend to your mild post-dinner stomach woes with over-the-counter medications.

That plop, plop, fizz, fizz treatment for too much turkey is taxable. As are the aspirin you take tomorrow because there were just too many instances of raised stemware.

No escape by eating out: And if you decided to skip the clean-up chores by dining out, note that tax line on your ticket. Restaurant meals definitely include, in addition to automatic gratuities in some cases, tax.

The bottom line on this day of thanks is that Uncle Sam and his state tax collecting counterparts are unseen guests at your dinner table.

For the most part, the services you get in exchange for your taxes are something to be thankful for, too.

But rather than get into a tax discussion, which could lead to a political discussion which could bring a premature end to this supposed-to-be day of happy gatherings, how about taking a break from taxes. Just enjoy your meal and family and friends.

Taxes will wait. In fact, they'll be around long after Thanksgiving leftovers are finally finished.

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