Take the Scare Out of Halloween & Save Taxes

Halloween sweets

If you need Halloween costumes for the kids or plan to host a Halloween party, it’s easy to rack up unexpected and scary costs. Believe it or not, Halloween is one of the largest spending days in the United States. The National Retail Federation reports that this year, Americans will spend about $82.93 on Halloween stuff. With that in mind, beware and be aware when planning your party and creating little ghouls and goblins.

Candy, a Halloween staple, is taxed in many states. According to the Tax Foundation’s 2016 Facts and Figures report, 28 states recognize candy as grocery. In other words, in those states, candy is taxed the same as grocery. The bright side is that you can use retailer coupons to reduce the price – find out more about that in our previous blog.

Here are a few other scare tactics you can use to ward off those budget busters and save taxes.

Needing a costume?

  • Do it yourself (DIY). YouTube and Pinterest are great resources for costume ideas and step-by- step instructions on how to create your own costume. Many times, most of the things you need are right at home.
  • Borrow. Ask family members and friends if they have costumes they don’t want or need, or their kids have outgrown.
  • Check out consignment stores. Purchase gently used costumes for less than half the price by shopping at a consignment store.

Planning a party?

  • Don’t pay full price. Purchase party supplies at a discount store or wait until Halloween items go on sale.
  • Send invitations via a free web-based site, like Evite. Or go the more informal route and send a text invite.
  • Use items you already have in your home for serving ware and décor. Repurpose them to make them more festive.
  • Prepare your own food and treats.

It’s over. Now what?

The trick or treating is done and the party is over, but the savings continue! Your leftover candy, costumes and other items can be charitable contributions if donated. Be sure the organization you chose to give to is reputable or qualified. Don’t forget to request a receipt or donation letter with the organization’s name, address and the date and amount of the contribution.

Halloween is not very scary after all when you are saving money and taxes.


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