Friday, January 18, 2008

Movie Night

Engrossed in The Great Escape.

Scott: "Yes, the movie is free, but it's mandatory that you buy a bowl of popcorn at $5.63 a bowl!"

Dale deep in thought. But is he thinking about the $5.63 popcorn or the movie?


Dale said...

Fun times! What a great movie. Which scene was that? The TV is just a tad to bright to tell...

Scott Eash said...

Correction - that's $5.63 + tax.

Anonymous said...

I thought food was sales tax exempt, or does that only count for "necessary" foods?

Josiah E. said...

Thank you very much for that correction Scott! I can't see how we forgot that! ;-)

I totally agree dale! I frankly don't know which scene that was, but it is one man sitting at a table with some papers in front of him.

Anonymous: I think popcorn is considered a "luxury" hence I believe it is taxed.

thanks all!

Scott Eash said...

Dear Anonymous,
Who says popcorn isn't a necessary food? ;)

Even if popcorn does not qualify as a taxable item under normal circumstances, I believe it was taxed in this instance because it was used as a substitute for an admission ticket (you had to buy popcorn to get in).

Since you would pay tax on an admission fee, it was necessary to tax the popcorn. Make sense?

Anonymous said...

No, no, no! I do not agree. I believe it was an illegal activity! After all you were only making the popcorn more "necessary" by using its sale as an admission requirement. All right maybe movies aren't "necessary," but your case wouldn't hold water in court(at least not the type of court our nation ought to have: it does have some corrupt courts, sadly).

Scott Eash said...

Well we couldn't just let everyone watch such a great movie without charging some form of admission! It wouldn't be good business to let everyone in for free. ;)

If you don't like it, talk to my...(insert cough here)... lawyer.

Scott's Lawyer(Ben) said...

The time has come for me to step in and defend my client against the said charges of illegal activity, namely, fraudulently charging PA Sales Tax on popcorn.

*clears throat* Quoting from the PA Sales Tax Guide(REV-717AS), Section 7:

(7) Food and Beverages Sold From a Caterer or Establishment Serving Ready-to-Eat Food

Generally, tax is imposed on food and beverages, for consumption on or off the premises, or on a take-out or to go basis, or delivered to the purchaser or consumer, when purchased from a caterer or an eating establishment from which ready-to-eat foods and beverages are sold, such as a restaurant, cafe, lunch counter, private or social club, tavern, dining car, hotel, night club, fast food operation, pizzeria, fair, carnival, lunch cart, ice cream stand, snack bar, lunch truck, cafeteria, employee cafeteria, theatre, stadium, arena, amusement park, juice stand, carryout shop, coffee shop, popcorn stand, and other establishments, whether mobile or immobile.

Taxable Items
All food and beverages, in any quantity, including both food and beverages prepared on the premises, and prepackaged food and beverages.

As you all can see, my client Scott was fulfilling his legal obligations to charge sales tax. Also, please note that water is not taxable under PA Sales Tax code and Scott, being the law abiding citizen he is, did NOT charge the movie viewers any tax on the water he kindly served them.

If you have any further questions, you may contact me at my office by calling: (111) TAX-4YOU


Popcorn Popper said...

For those who are concerned as to whether the funds collected from the sale of popcorn at the theatre were used in a careless way, you can rest at ease, knowing that the money was given to a very good cause; an organization that supports the under-appreciated popcorn poppers of the world!

Popcorn Popper (of above mentioned popcorn)

Scott Eash said...

As you can see, I have a very competent lawyer. ;)

Anonymous said...

I wish most heartily that I had never started this arguement(especially as I am getting the worst of it!).

I still have a few parting jabs though: Mr. Eash, I sincerely doubt whether your "lawyer" ever passed a bar exam, which in that case would mean he is the one involved in illegal activities. Another objection I have is that the law cited was refering to a "caterer or establishment serving ready-to-eat food." This would imply a place of business, and as far as I am aware the Eash household does not run a licensed food business\retaurant. If I am mistaken, please inform me, and I will be sure to stop by and test your food the next time I am in the area!

Scott Eash said...


I'm glad you started the "argument". It's been fun to keep it going, though I'm sorry that it was all at your expense. (On the other hand, we didn't really have any reason not to give you the worst of it, you being anonymous and all)

Regarding my lawyer: he'll have to come to his own defense. He should have plenty of experience in that department. That is, if he's a real lawyer.

Regarding our food business, haven't you read that we donate all proceeds to an organization called People United for the Popcorn Popper Paupers of the World?

scott's lawyer said...

Since this blog isn't a court of law, I really don't feel the need to defend my lawyer qualifications.

I think this discussion has about played itself out. Let there be no hard feelings among us. In fact, I think we should all just be thankful that there are dedicated men and women out there who care about the Popcorn Popper Paupers of this world. Because after all, whether or not popcorn is taxable and whether or not it is sold from a licensed establishment, I think we can all agree that it taste good! :-) Let's hear it for the Popcorn Popper Paupers of the World!