Ask Andy: McDonald's "Take Out Tax" on receipts - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Andy Wise

Ask Andy: McDonald's "Take Out Tax" on receipts

The next time you get a Big Mac, maybe a Quarter Pounder to go, take a look at your receipt.

What you see might get you as riled up as "PJ" of Frayser:

"A closer look at my receipt revealed I had been charged $.60 for a "Takeout Tax". I still have the receipt. This can't be legal."

Relax, PJ.  It's not an extra tax -- although a lot of other consumers have brought this to my attention.

That tax is just the straight sales tax.  If you notice the next time you eat in at a McDonald's, the line will say "Dine In" or "Eat In."  It's the same tax rate, whatever your state and local sales tax rate is.

Steve Lykins of McDonald's Memphis restaurants says the company has a uniform receipt software package.  He says every McDonald's in America will have the "take out" or "dine in" line-items on their receipts. 

The reason, he says, is some states like California actually have a separate take out tax.  So the software has to be able to accommodate those states so their revenue departments can accurately collect those taxes.

It would be cost-prohibitive to have separate receipt software applications for different states, not to mention a nightmare to manage and track those applications.

I did the math myself, not only on PJ's receipt, but also on the Quarter Pounder value meal I had for lunch.  The tax is indeed the straight sales tax - no more, no less - and I confirmed it with my sources at the Tennessee Department of Revenue.



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