Tax group demands VAT simplification of food and drink rules

April 2020

VAT rules for food and drink in the UK are “overly complex” and in need of reform, theA ssociation of Taxation Technicians (ATT) has claimed.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak used his Spring Budget to scrap the so-called ‘tampon tax’ when the Brexit transition period ends on 1 January 2021.

The ATT hopes the decision to abolish the 5% rate of VAT on women’s sanitary products extends to other inconsistent areas of VAT.  

One classic example of VAT contradiction surrounds the lingering debate over cakes and chocolate-covered biscuits.

Cakes are zero-rated, whether they are covered in chocolate or not, while the standard rate of VAT applies to chocolate-covered biscuits.

Complexities like this, the ATT argued, are outdated and in desperate need of reform.

Michael Steed, co-chair of the ATT Technical Steering Group, said:

"Manyof the rules for food and drink derive from the old purchase tax regime, whichwas replaced with VAT when the UK joined the EU in 1973.

“As a result, they are often out of date and difficult to apply in the modern world.

"This has led to the tax tribunal having to consider whether Jaffa Cakes are a cake or a biscuit, and whether Pringles are crisps or not.

“The decisions in these cases often throw up results which sound utterly ridiculous to the average person."

Talk to us about your VAT obligations.

Business news
Finsbury Robinson

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare.

Contact Us

Sign up to our
Monthly Business Newsletter

Sign up to receive our monthly Business Newsletter that will keep you up to date with everything going on in accounting, tax, and finance. 

Finsbury Robinson Services
R&D Tax
Has your company undertaken
any R&D related activities?
Find OUt More
Affected by the
Let Property Campaign?
Find OUt More
Check out our fixed price
Accounting and Business Packages
Find OUt More
Free Book-keeping
Software for all Clients
Find OUt More
Free Auto Enrolment Pensions Advice
Calculate your Contribution!
Find OUt More
Are you aware of the Capital Gains Tax Changes coming?
GDPR Compliance
Find OUt More

Sign up to our Monthly Business Newsletter

Find News Articles by Category

News HomeVAT
Tax group demands VAT simplification of food and drink rules
To get in touch use our Quick Contact Bar:

Monday                 8:30AM – 5:30PM
Tuesday                8:30AM – 5:30PM
Wednesday          8:30AM – 5:30PM
Thursday              8:30AM – 5:30PM
Friday                 9:00AM – 12:30PM
Saturday                                 Closed
Sunday                                   Closed

Finsbury Robinson
237 Westcombe Hill