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It’s not what you sell, it’s the way that you sell it

Author: Henry Ejdelbaum

Tags: hmrc, Home baking tax, SME, Tax, VAT tribunal

The upsurge in interest in home baking has found its way into the normally far from appetising world of VAT tribunal cases.

Two recent cases hinged on how goods were held out for sale, not what the goods were.

In the first case a confectionery manufacture produced an allergen free chocolate bar which it labelled as “suitable for cooking” but which was normally displayed alongside confectionery. The tribunal decided that the bar was confectionery and so subject to VAT but observed that had the bar been labelled as “cooking chocolate” and displayed alongside other cooking ingredients it would have been VAT free.

The second case concerned bicarbonate of soda which is used in baking. The tribunal decided that if the bicarb is sold in small pots alongside other baking ingredients it is VAT free, otherwise it is subject to VAT.

Once again food generates disputes about VAT – Office of Tax Simplification where are you?