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United Biscuits (UK) Ltd v HMRC

In United Biscuits (UK) Ltd v HMRC (No 8) (TC01515 – 21 November) a company marketed two types of savoury snacks made from a blend of wheat and potato and sold under the name ‘Discos’ and ‘New Recipe Frisps’. HMRC issued a ruling that the products were excluded from zero-rating by VATA 1994 Sch 8 Group 1 Excepted Item No. 5. The company appealed contending that the products were not ‘potato crisps’ or ‘similar products’ and should not be excluded from zero-rating. The First-tier Tribunal accepted this contention and allowed the appeal finding that ‘Discos’ contained 31.17% wheat starch and 27.87% dried potato and that ‘New Recipe Frisps’ contained 34.7% wheat flour and 22.56% dried potato. On the evidence ‘the defining and essential ingredient is the wheat’ so that the products were not excluded from zero-rating.


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