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There are some rare circumstances where VAT may not apply to food taken away hot, but these would be uncommon for hot food prepared to order.

If you also sell any cold food for takeaway, such as deserts, then things can become more problematic. The complexity of the VAT rules means that some cold food would attract VAT but others wouldn’t. For example, a cream gateaux would not be subject to VAT, but an ice cream gateaux would. 

It’s easy to make mistakes when deciding whether or not charge VAT on food, and if you are unsure then we would recommend that you speak to an accountant.

Once you have determined the VAT treatment of the items you are selling, VAT returns will be due in the normal way, however you will be able to defer any liabilities arising between 20th March and 30th June.

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Last updated: 13th January 2021

This article is intended to inform rather than advise and is based on legislation and practice at the time. Taxpayer’s circumstances do vary and if you feel that the information provided is beneficial it is important that you contact us before implementation. If you take, or do not take action as a result of reading this article, before receiving our written endorsement, we will accept no responsibility for any financial loss incurred.


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