Cake or biscuit = GBP3.5m error


Under UK tax rules, most traditional bakery products such as bread, cakes, flapjacks and Jaffa Cakes are free of Value Added Tax (VAT).

But the tax is payable on some other items eg. cereal bars, shortbread and partly-coated or wholly-coated biscuits.

The confusion arose when the Authority is not sure when a CAKE is not a bread or when a BREAD is actually a cake etc etc etc….

Customers of Marks & Spencer in UK, who had been paying VAT for the last 20 years for a product called “teacakes” realised recently that VAT should not have been applied on the product. How come? The authorities have accepted the product was actually a cake, which does not command VAT!!! A mistake realised after 20 years.

This incident serves to explain why the Government has chosen not to heed calls from some quarters to apply a lower GST rate on necessities.

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