From creative accounting to bases in tax havens, plots to avoid paying tax are as creative as they are numerous. But one New York bakery has taken their desire to dodge tax to new heights by creating a cream cheese stuffed bagel.
H&H bagels, a widely known chain in the city, has announced the launch of their 'tax free bagel', a regular bagel pre-stuffed with cream cheese to avoid what they call the city's 'outrageous' tax on sandwiches.
In New York, customers at bakeries, cafes and restaurants have to pay an 8.875 per cent sales tax on 'prepared sandwiches', which includes all bagels that have been schmeared or spread with any form of topping.
To avoid this sneaky sandwich-based levy, H&H and Philadelphia created the stuffed bagel, which is ready to eat and does not need to be cut in-store, allowing them to sell it as an unprepared bread product.
The bagel has received mixed reviews from critics, with one reviewer from New York blog HellGate saying: "This bagel pulses with the blood of cream cheese, and the knowledge that God is dead."
In a piece entitled "The Cream Cheese Stuffed ‘Tax-Free Bagel’ Is a Crime Against Nature, NYC" blogger Christopher Robbins, slammed the bagel saying: "There is no pleasant crust, no toothsome bite to this bagel, just a kind of doughy waterbed texture.
He added:"After a few bites, the cool cream cheese contrasted unfavorably with the barely warm bagel. This may have been an unfortunate side effect of the cinnamon raisin flavor, but the cream cheese itself lacked the necessary and familiar sour tang."
In a press release, Keenan White, Senior Brand Manager for Philadelphia said: “In today’s landscape, people are juggling enough hurdles, and having to pay an extra tax to enjoy their favorite bagel with Philly cream cheese should simply not be one of them,”
“A bagel with Philly cream cheese is an experience that so many know and love, so in partnership with H&H bagels, we wanted to provide a delicious solution to this silly tax in a way that kept the enjoyment of our brand at its core, literally.”