In a Flap Over Cake29 Apr, 20222 Mins
Is a flapjack a cake or a sweet?
A recent tax tribunal has concluded that the texture and way we eat flapjacks means Glanbia Milk’s versions are sweets, not cakes. So they are subject to 20% VAT.
A taste test conducted by Judge Christopher Staker and Caroline Small concluded the company’s flapjacks have “a dense, chewy consistency similar to a fruit bar or an energy bar. The ordinary person would not consider this to be the typical texture of a cake”
Here are more reasons the panel saw these flapjacks as sweets, not cakes:
- The bar shape.
- We tend to eat them on the go, not at the end of a meal.
- They’re not served for afternoon tea.
It’s an expensive decision for Gambia Milk they are planning to appeal. HMRC’s own guidance suggests a traditional flapjack sits in the column with bread, cake and marshmallow teacakes as “zero-rated”.
It’s a legal battle that brings back memories of the early 90’s Jaffa Cake case - cake or biscuit? After much legal wrangling, McVities won cake status for their…er cake snacks found in the biscuit aisle. They don’t pay VAT.