The candy-maker Mars Inc. rolled out a tongue-in-cheek video this week in time for Tax Day to commemorate a 2013 Tax Court decision in which the court ruled against a taxpayer who tried to write off the cost of a Snickers bar as a tax deduction.
While it was not exactly a landmark case in the annals of tax law, and the Snickers bar was only one of the many expenses that the IRS had disallowed, the Tax Court really did issue a memo in the case, as the invaluable TaxProf blog found.
The case involved Aimee and Ryan Cvancara, the former owners of a private Arizona elementary school known as Desert Academy. While working at the school in October 2005 doing some administrative work, Aimee had hunger pangs and bought a Snickers bar. She and her husband claimed the cost of the candy bar, along with thousands of dollars of other items, as business expenses.
The video recreates the incident in documentary fashion, including interviews with legal and scientific experts attesting to the validity of her tax deduction. It then shows an artist's depiction of her experience in Tax Court.
"I wouldn't call Tax Court thrilling," she admits. "It's just going through receipts. It's not that exciting."
At the end, Mars presents her with an oversized check for the 89 cents she spent on the candy bar. While it may not make up for her loss in Tax Court, the video at least must have been fun to make. You can check it out by clicking on the video screen below.