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“If the government ever imposes a tax on books, I’m in dead trouble.” Terry Pratchett

As we all look forward to some time off during the Christmas period and more importantly a little indulgence, what better way to start you off than by looking at some of the delectable sweet treats you will be enjoying – with a little bit of VAT thrown in.

You may or may not be aware that there are certain foods that have different VAT rates. Now this can be confusing at times and because it is a tax you don’t see we don’t see why you would care. But let’s take a look at a few examples and I bet you may find some of these so ridiculously absurd they might just be the winner in the Christmas cracker joke competition.

Scottish snowballs are zero-rated because they are classed as cakes, Gingerbread men with chocolate eyes are exempt but if they have buttons they are not and let’s not forget one of the nation’s favourite Jaffa Cake which are also exempt.

It really does go to show how much detail goes in to tax decisions, which is why it’s so complicated. I’m sure you’re already shaking your head in bemusement and “Why” comes to mind a few times but, I’ve asked you this question before so let me ask you again, “Is VAT easy or difficult to understand?” Over to you.

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AIMS Accountants for Business are the largest independent association of professionally qualified accountants in the UK specialising in accountancy for small, local and independent businesses. AIMS are no ordinary accountants and we are more than just number crunchers!