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HMRC internal manual

VAT Food

From
HM Revenue & Customs
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Items benefiting from the relief: What is food?: Food of a kind used for human consumption: Introduction and construction of the group

food of a kind used for human consumption, the reasons for the zero-rating for food and the reason for the excluding of certain categories of food from zero rating.

Construction of the group

General item 1, as extended by Note 1, fixes the limits of zero rating and identifies human foodstuffs as the basic category of products eligible for relief. The excepted items define further categories of products which, although within the scope of item 1, are barred from the general zero-rating allowed to the item. The items overriding the exceptions then identify further specific products which, despite falling within one or other of the excepted items, are nevertheless zero-rated.

When determining the liability of an edible product, you should ask the following questions.

  • Is it within the basic description of zero-rated goods in item 1 - is it food of a kind used for human consumption? If the answer is no, the product is not zero-rated under item 1?
  • If it is food of a kind used for human consumption, is it also included within one of the excepted items? If the answer is no, the product is zero-rated.
  • If it is included within one of the excepted items, it is standard-rated unless it is also included in one of the items overriding the exceptions, when it is zero-rated.