West Law Report

Pringles attract no VAT

Posted in Times Law Report by mrkooenglish on July 22, 2008

From The TimesJuly 18, 2008

Pringles attract no VAT
Chancery Division
Published July 18, 2008
Procter and Gamble UK v Revenue and Customs Commissioners

Regular Pringles were zero-rated for VAT because they were not potato products.

Mr Justice Warren so held in the Chancery Division on July 4, 2007, when allowing the appeal by Procter and Gamble UK from the decision of the VAT and Duties Tribunal that Regular Pringles were standard-rated as being within the words “potato crisps, potato sticks, potato puffs and similar products made from the potato, or from potato flour, or from potato starch” within excepted item 5 of Group 1 of Schedule 8 to the Value Added Tax Act 1994.

HIS LORDSHIP said that, generally speaking, food was zero-rated. It was not possible to identify a policy which sought to standard-rate certain broad categories of food which might be regarded as unhealthy.

There was only one statutory test which was whether the Regular Pringle was a product made from the potato, etc, which was similar to a potato crisp, etc.

On the findings of fact made by the tribunal, Regular Pringles were not made from the potato, potato flour or potato starch so as to fall within excepted item 5.

It seemed the tribunal had taken into account the amount of potato contained in Regular Pringles, whereas such amount fell to be taken account of only as a factor in assessing whether Regular Pringles were made from the potato.

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