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Rhode Island tax tidbit: grocery items

Rhode Island flag With the advent of supermarkets, stores started stocking much more than just food. Such a wide variety of choices is welcomed by most shoppers, but the options also make it hard to keep track of exactly what's taxed and what's not.

Enter Rhode Island tax officials.

The state's Division of Taxation maintains a comprehensive online catalog of taxable and nontaxable grocery items.

The list goes from ace bandages to zippers for clothes, both of which are subject to the state's 7 percent sales tax, and myriad items in between.

There definitely are some intriguing entries. Bibles and prayer books are taxable, but newspapers are not. Painted pumpkins are taxable, but unadorned pumpkins are tax-tree.

Ocean Staters also apparently are big fans of casual footwear. Polish for your dress shoes is taxable, but slippers, sneakers and sandals are sans tax.

And if the whole matter is keeping you up at night, here's good news. Sleep aids are tax free.

Tax trip around the United States: This post is part of our series highlighting tax information from the 50 U.S. states and Washington, D.C. You can read other state tax blurbs at our Complete menu of tasty state tax tidbits.

The State Tax Departments page provides links to official state and District of Columbia revenue Web sites so that you can find out more about your home's tax laws and filing requirements.

As we work through the 2010 tax season, a different state will be featured each day as noted in Don't forget your state taxes! Check back to see what tax tidbit we share about your home.

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