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GlaxoSmithKline Services Unlimited v HMRC

In GlaxoSmithKline Services Unlimited v HMRC (TC00688 – 1 October) a company (G) manufactured a drink which it called ‘Lucozade Sport’. It contained carbohydrates and electrolytes and was marketed for sale to people participating in high-intensity sport and exercise. HMRC issued a ruling that G was required to account for VAT on its sales of the product.

G appealed contending that even though the product was intended to be consumed as a drink it should be treated as food rather than as a beverage and qualified for zero-rating.

The tribunal rejected this contention and dismissed the appeal holding that the product was within the definition of a beverage and was therefore excluded from zero-rating. The tribunal specifically distinguished the decision in SIS (Science in Sport) Ltd (No 1) (VTD 16555) observing that in that case the tribunal found that the powder...

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