Value Added Tax

Food ― pet food

Produced by Tolley
  • 22 Dec 2021 18:47

The following Value Added Tax guidance note Produced by Tolley provides comprehensive and up to date tax information covering:

  • Food ― pet food
  • When is pet food excluded from zero-rating?
  • What is a pet?
  • What are poultry and game?
  • When is food canned, packaged or prepared?
  • What are biscuits and meal for cats and dogs?
  • How to decide if a product is held out for sale for pets?
  • Practical points for businesses supplying pet food

Food ― pet food

This guidance note explores the exclusion from the zero-rating for food that applies to pet food (and certain other animal foods).

For an overview of the scope of zero-rating for food in VATA 1994, Sch 8, Group 1, see the Food ― overview of zero-rating guidance note.

In-depth commentary on the legislation and case law surrounding the exclusion for pet food (and other animal foods) can be found in De Voil Indirect Tax Service V4.223.

When is pet food excluded from zero-rating?

Although animal feeding stuffs can generally be zero-rated as food (see the Food ― what is food? guidance note), there is an exception to this for pet food and certain other animal foods which are standard-rated.

The exception covers the following:

  1. canned, packaged or prepared pet foods

  2. packaged foods for birds other than poultry or game

  3. biscuits and meal for cats and dogs

VATA 1994, Sch 8, Group 1, excepted Item 6

What is a pet?

The following table sets out species that HMRC considers to be pets and those that it considers to be ‘non-pets’. Food for non-pets can be zero-rated even if sometimes the type of animal is kept as a pet. However, this only applies if HMRC is satisfied that the food isn’t held out for sale in a way that shows it’s intended for pets:

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