In Kinnerton Confectionery Limited v HMRC [2018] TC06548¸ the FTT decided that an allergen-free chocolate bar was standard rated as confectionary and was not food for VAT.

  • HMRC decided that Kinnerton's allergen-free chocolate bar was standard rated and raised a VAT assessment for £260k.
  • Kinnerton appealed on the basis that it was cooking chocolate and should be zero-rated as Food.
  • It also argued that it is in the public interest to find in its favour so that those allergic to normal chocolate are not disadvantaged by VAT.

The FTT found that the chocolate was held out as confectionery and not for cooking:

  • It was sold alongside other confectionery items in supermarkets, not in the bakery isle and was sometimes sold with an Easter egg.
  • It did not say it was cooking chocolate, the packaging mentioned portion size which is not normally the case with cooking chocolate. No recipes were included on the wrapper. 
  • Kinnerton’s website positioned the bar next to other confectionery items, did not say it could be used for cooking and did not provide any recipes. 
  • All other Kinnerton items are confectionery.

The FTT also dismissed the public interest argument:

  • Kinnerton could, if it wanted to, make an allergen-free chocolate and hold it out for cooking such that it qualified for zero-rating.
  • Those allergic to normal chocolate are at no disadvantage.

The appeal was dismissed and the chocolate was held to be standard rated.


Food: catering and takeaway

External link

Kinnerton Confectionery Limited v HMRC [2018] TC06548

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