V16.1000 VAT—hot food and premises
Information Sheet 12/12, August 2012
1.1 Who should read this information sheet?
Businesses that sell hot takeaway food and food for consumption on their premises. Businesses that already charge VAT on such sales should continue to do so and are unaffected by these changes.
This guidance should be read in conjunction with Notice 709/1 “Catering and Takeaway Food”, which it updates and supplements as appropriate.
1.2 What is this Information Sheet about?
Following changes announced at Budget 2012, this Information Sheet provides guidance on how to establish the correct VAT liability of hot takeaway food and food for consumption on premises. It does not cover the liability of other types of catering, which are covered in Notice 709/1.
1.3 When do the changes take effect?
The changes affect supplies of hot takeaway food and food for consumption on premises that are made on or after 1 October 2012.
1.4 Why have these changes been introduced?
Hot takeaway food
As a result of litigation over a number of years, the rules for charging VAT on hot takeaway food have become increasingly prone to legal challenge which has led to anomalies where similar products are taxed differently. These changes introduce a number of objective tests to address these anomalies to ensure that hot takeaway food is taxed consistently at the standard rate of VAT.
The rules for charging VAT on food sold for consumption on premises have also been the subject of litigation. Most recently, disputes have arisen in relation to whether food courts (which can be