Saturday 28 March 2009

Death and Taxes

The two certainties in life are death and taxes. The UK vat rules say that some foods are vat exempt and others luxury goods are charge at 15%. For HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) details can be found here

The most famous case in law was that of
HM Revenue & Customs v Mc Vities. The manufacturers of Jaffa Cakes, McVities classified them as cakes, and were taken to a court by Customs and Excise, who argued that they were in fact chocolate covered biscuits, and so liable for VAT.

McVities defended their case by making a very large Jaffa Cake in order to demonstrate that they really were just mini cakes. They also argued that biscuits go soft when left exposed to the air for long periods, and cakes go hard and since Jaffa Cakes go hard when left out, they were in fact cakes. McVities won their case, and VAT is not charged on Jaffa Cakes.

So it was a pleasant surprise today to see that from my receipt from Tesco Metro that Monster Munch (orginal pickled onion) are a luxury good and charged at 15% and eaten by the decadent and that Pot Noddles (Spicy curry) are essential food stuff and charged at 0%. It's a funny old world.

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