The Jaffa cake case of 1991 may not be the most talked about VAT case going forward as another yummy treat was up for debate – the chocolate brownie. To be more specific a ‘raw choc brownie’.
Judge Amanda Brown this month has deemed the Pulsin’s brownies a cake making them exempt from VAT and potentially allowing the manufacturer to claw back £300,000 in VAT. In order for the judge to come to this conclusion she tasted the nutritional bars made of dates, chicory fibre and rice malt alongside Mr Kipling’s French fancies, Victoria sponge cake and Tunnock’s Tea Cakes. However, the reasoning for them being deemed a cake wasn’t the initial claim by Pulsins ‘that they weren’t sweet enough to be confectionary’, the judge said the ingredients used in making the brownies, the manufacturing method, their taste and texture were all “consistent with those of a cake”.
Im sure going forward there will be many more cases surrounding VAT but here are a couple of the nuances we already have:
– Chocolate HobNobs are subject to VAT at 20%, whilst Maynards Chocolate Chip Cookies aren’t.
– Twiglets are exempt from VAT, but Walkers Salt and Vinegar crisps aren’t.
More information can be found here https://www.taxation.co.uk/articles/is-a-brownie-a-cake-or-confectionery