‘Customs had ruled that the GABF supplies hot food and should therefore be subject to VAT of 17.5%,’ explained Vaugh Chown, partner and head of the VAT department at Levy Gee, the accountancy firm which advised the company.
But the GABF insisted the bagels were heated for the purposes of changing their texture, not to provide hot food.
‘The GABF doesn’t care whether the customer takes their bagels to the park or up ten flights of stairs to the office, [giving them time to cool], and therefore the company should receive a proper zero-rating,’ said Chown.
After extensive research on the field – which required sampling of the food – the tribunal ruled in favour of the GABF, agreeing the original intention of the company was not to sell hot food, but crunchy toasted bagels.
‘The zero-rating made a significant difference to the amount of VAT the customer will pay,’ said Chown.
With 17.5% VAT, GABF would have had to pay about £10,000 more in taxes. 52% the items sold by the are toasted bagels for takeaway.
The ruling is also likely to impact other caterers in similar situations. According to Chown: ‘It leaves the situation a little bit clearer as to what the intention of the client is when they supply the food.’
Richard Le Tocq, head of Locate Guernsey, discusses the chancellor’s approach to high net worth individuals, and why relocation is increasingly attractive to HNWIs
The firm says that the U-turn 'does not alter the need for a fundamental review of the way we tax work' and that the current tax system is in need of reform
Legislation on the NICs changes to be brought forward in the autumn following publication of 'the full effects of the changes to Class 2 and Class 4' in the summer
Following chancellor Philip Hammond’s Spring Budget speech, we explore the key takeaways for businesses and individuals