A VAT of confusion

As far as taxes go, and as far as TS really wants to think about them, VAT has always been one of the most perplexing. I mean we already get taxed on the money we earn, why should we get taxed on what we want to spend it on as well?

This confusion seems to be a global syndrome, particularly around what is and isn’t subject to VAT. According to Taxware, public baths and showers are VAT-free in Morocco, but any soap used is taxed at 7%, while in Portugal there is pasta persecution. Spaghetti and penne are in the 5% VAT bracket, but ravioli, cannelloni and tortellini are, unfairly TS would say, subject to a 19% surplus.

But good old Blighty has its own fair share of tax idiosyncrasies. Hot food is taxable but not if it is cold when it reaches the customer. Of course the customer might well send it away in that case.

Magic mushrooms, you may have heard recently, are subject to the 17.5% rate. Apparently, some don’t use them purely as food, would you believe.

What really messes with TS’s head though, is the treatment of our beloved toastie. It seems the crispy bread sandwiches are VAT-free, whether hot or cold. This is, apparently, because of the flavour and texture. Excuse us for a moment while we try and figure that one out.

If you’ve got any clues, please let us know by clicking on the comment button below.

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