The Tax Classification of Snuggies, Tomatoes, and Beans (Oh My!)

7 Pages Posted: 14 Jun 2017

See all articles by Erik M. Jensen

Erik M. Jensen

Case Western Reserve University School of Law

Date Written: June 12, 2017

Abstract

This article discusses Allstar Marketing Group, LLC v. United States, in which the Court of International Trade ruled, in 2017, on a question of cosmic significance: whether, for purposes of computing the tariff due on importation, a Snuggie is a blanket or a garment. The stakes were significant, with a six percentage point difference in the rates applicable to the two categories. Along the way the court considered whether sleeves convert what would otherwise be a blanket into a garment and derived guidance about the nature of garments from an earlier decision involving the characterization of Halloween costumes. Allstar Marketing, also provided the opportunity to revisit some classic Supreme Court decisions — yes, Supreme Court decisions — dealing with whether, for tariff purposes, a tomato is a fruit or a vegetable, a bean is a seed or a vegetable, and knit woolen undershirts, drawers, and hosiery are “wool wearing apparel” or “knit fabrics made on frames.” The excitement builds.

Keywords: Allstar Marketing Group, LLC v. United States, Tariffs, Snuggies, Blankets, Garments, Halloween Costumes, Tomatoes, Fruits, Vegetables, Beans, Seeds, Wool Underwear

JEL Classification: K34

Suggested Citation

Jensen, Erik M., The Tax Classification of Snuggies, Tomatoes, and Beans (Oh My!) (June 12, 2017). 155 Tax Notes 851 (2017); Case Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2017-13. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2985119

Erik M. Jensen (Contact Author)

Case Western Reserve University School of Law ( email )

11075 East Boulevard
Cleveland, OH 44106-7148
United States
216-368-3613 (Phone)
216-368-2086 (Fax)

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