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Why Do Coffee Shops Ask "For Here or to Go"?

What's Up With Coffee Shops Asking "For Here or to Go"?


When you're stopping in to your neighborhood coffee shop for a little pick-me-up, the cashier might ask whether you'll be enjoying your beverage "for here or to go." She's not asking out of curiosity, and she's not just trying to find out if your coffee should be presented in a paper or ceramic cup — she's asking to find out whether or not your purchase should be taxed.

This policy is going to vary depending on your state's tax laws, but here in California we are taxed when the answer is "for here." To have a nontaxing experience, tell the cashier you want your goodies to go.

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