BB/9A/05 VAT—hot take-away food
Business Brief, Issue 9. 4 April 2005
This Business Brief clarifies Customs policy on the treatment of hot take-away food in light of recent VAT Tribunal decisions. It includes some minor amendments to policy, and replaces the guidance previously published in Business Brief 26/2002 (BB/26/02, Division V16.3).
Most food is zero-rated for VAT purposes. But hot take-away food and drink is standard-rated, whether sold from a traditional take-away, supermarket or any other outlet. Standard rating applies where the supplier's main intention in heating the food is to enable it to be consumed hot or warm (regardless of whether, in practice, the food is always consumed hot or warm). Standard rating applies irrespective of the customer's intention, the place of consumption or whether the food is collected or delivered.
Can hot food be zero-rated?
You can only zero-rate hot food if your main purpose in heating the food is other than to enable it to be consumed hot or warm. For example, newly baked