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Welcome to DOR's Tax Talk Blog

Tax Talk is a weekly blog published each Wednesday by the Indiana Department of Revenue (DOR) that discusses tax tips, DOR programs, and helpful information for tax preparers. During tax season blogs are posted on both Mondays and Wednesdays. 

Trees, Tinsel and Taxes

December 11, 2019

It’s that time of year, when everyone is pulling out the holiday décor. For many, that means Christmas trees and all the trimmings and tinsel that goes along with it.

According to the Indiana Christmas Tree Growers Association (ICTGA), over $1 billion in live Christmas trees will be sold in the United States this year, over just four weeks (from the day after Thanksgiving to just before Christmas).

Christmas trees are available from three distinct types of sources in Indiana. Each of these sources is required to collect the 7% Indiana sales tax administered at the time of purchase.

Below are the three different types of ways you could obtain a live tree this holiday season:

1.) Choose and Cut
At these locations, the families can walk or ride around in order to cut a tree down and the tree is brought back to the sales barn for purchase. Throughout the year Choose and Cut growers groom the fields to make walking and tree selection easier along with grading and pricing trees in order to prepare the sales barn for efficient operations.

2.) Retail Lot
Many year-round retail merchants will order and sell Christmas trees during the holiday season however there are some retail lots that are only set up for the holiday season. Many of these lots are fundraisers for nonprofit groups.

3.) Whole Sale Lot
Wholesale growers are normally large, efficiently run operations capable of selling thousands of trees. The trees are graded in the field and harvested in November just in time for delivery or pickup at Thanksgiving time.

For more information on what types of transactions are applicable to sales tax, visit DOR’s website or call 317-233-4015, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., EST.

 

Video Series: College 529 Plan

December 4, 2019

Indiana’s College Choice 529 Savings Plan is a powerful college savings took for your kids or even yourself! Did you know your 529 contributions could be a powerful tax strategy as well?

Join DOR’s Natalie Rodriguez as she talks with Marissa Rowe from the Indiana Education Savings Authority about 529 plans, what they cover, tax credits and what to do if you use 529 funds for an unqualified expense.

Head to the Indiana College Choice 529 Plan website to learn more or open an account. For tax information, see the DOR website or Information Bulletin 98.

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