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Are cereal bars cakes or confectionary?

21 September 2021 / John Messore
Issue: 4809 / Categories: Comment & Analysis
Having your cake and eating it

Key points

  • The First-tier Tribunal case of WM Morrison Supermarkets plc concerned ‘fruit bars’.
  • Morrisons submitted that the bars should have been zero rated and tried to reclaim over £1m in output VAT.
  • The crux of this case was whether the fruit bars were confectionery which would override the zero rating.
  • Perhaps the time has come to standard rate only unhealthy food products rather than ‘luxury’ items.

As readers of my articles will know I frequently attend tax tribunals to observe tax cases – partly for continuing professional development purposes but mainly edification. I find the whole court process thoroughly enlightening and eye opening.

Having worked at Kraft Foods for about 13 years as head of tax and treasury I also find VAT on food interesting. Probably my favourite legislation is VATA 1994 Sch 8 group 1 and the triple negatives found with general items...

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