Information Release

ST 1994-02 - Fruit Baskets, Holiday Baskets, Decorative Containers - December, 1994 - UPDATED, November, 2004

The purpose of this release is to reiterate the Department of Taxation's position regarding the application of sales tax to the sale of fruit baskets, holiday baskets, and decorative containers containing food and/or non-food items.

Under Ohio law, sales tax is due on the total price paid when the amount for a taxable item is not separately stated from the amount for a nontaxable item.

Fruit baskets, holiday baskets, or decorative containers that contain a mixture of nontaxable items (fruit, cheese, candy, etc.) and taxable items (toys, wine, basket or container that is decorative in nature, etc.) are subject to the sales tax based on the total amount charged unless the amount for the nontaxable item(s) is separately stated from the amount for the taxable item(s). If there is a separation in the price, only the amount for the taxable item(s) would be subject to the tax.

For purposes of this release, a basket or container is considered "decorative in nature" when the basket or container has a value greater than the item(s) contained within or the true object of the purchaser is the acquisition of the basket or container instead of the item contained within.

Examples:

1) A typical Easter or fruit basket full of candy or fruit (no toys or wine) would not be subject to the sales tax because the true object sought would be the food items contained within, not the basket. The basket would be considered part of a package.

2) A lead crystal candy dish (considered a decorative container) full of candy would be fully taxable unless there was a separation in the price between the amount for the lead crystal candy dish and the amount for the candy. This price separation would result in taxing only the price of the lead crystal candy dish.

3) A fruit basket containing wine or champagne would be fully taxable unless there was a separation in the price between the amount for the wine or champagne and the amount for the fruit. This price separation would result in taxing only the price of the wine or champagne.

If you have any questions regarding this matter, please contact our Taxpayer Services Center at 1-888-405-4039, or e-mail us through our website at tax.ohio.gov.

OHIO RELAY SERVICES FOR THE
HEARING AND SPEECH IMPAIRED
Telephone: 1-800-750-0750