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Are Walkers Sensations Poppadoms Subject To VAT?

It's the Jaffa Cake saga all over again ...


Posted by Roger Eddowes on 11/03/2024 @ 8:00AM

Walkers Sensations Poppadoms have become a staple in many households across the UK. These crispy and flavourful snacks are loved by many for their unique taste and variety of flavours ...

In the VAT spotlight this week are Walkers Sensations Poppadoms!

In the VAT spotlight this week are Walkers Sensations Poppadoms!

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But as with any popular product, questions arise about its taxation. Are Walkers Sensations Poppadoms subject to VAT? First and foremost, it is important to understand what VAT is and how it applies to food products.

"Value Added Tax is a consumption tax that is
applied to most goods and services!"

It is charged at each stage of the supply chain, from the manufacturer to the retailer, and ultimately to the consumer. The current standard rate of VAT in the UK is 20%, although certain products and services may be subject to a reduced rate of 5%, or even exempt from VAT altogether.

So, where do Walkers Sensations Poppadoms fall in terms of VAT? The answer is not as straightforward as one might think. According to HMRC, most food products are subject to VAT at the standard rate of 20%. However, there are certain exceptions to this rule, and our favourite Poppadoms may fall under one of these exceptions.

One exception to the standard rate of VAT for food products is the 'zero rate' for basic food items. This includes items such as bread, meat, and vegetables. These products are considered essential for a person's diet and are therefore not subject to VAT. However, this zero rate does not apply to all food products, and unfortunately, Walkers Sensations Poppadoms are not included in this category.

Another exception is the reduced rate of 5% for 'cold takeaway food'. This includes items such as sandwiches, salads, and other cold food products that are intended to be consumed immediately after purchase.

While Walkers Sensations Poppadoms are not technically a cold takeaway food, they may fall under this category due to their snack-like nature and the fact that they are often consumed on the go. However, this is ultimately up to the interpretation of HMRC and may vary depending on the specific circumstances.

It is also worth noting that Walkers Sensations Poppadoms are classified as a luxury food item. This is due to their higher price point compared to other basic food items and their positioning as a premium snack product. Therefore, retailers are required to charge 20% VAT on Walkers Sensations Poppadoms, and consumers will see this reflected in the price at the checkout.

"However, there is one scenario in which Walkers Sensations Poppadoms may be exempt from VAT altogether!"

If the product is sold as part of a meal deal or combo deal with other food items that are subject to the reduced or zero rate of VAT, then the Poppadoms may also be subject to the same reduced or zero rate. This is because the Poppadoms are considered part of a larger meal or food offering and not sold as a standalone product.

So, the answer to the question above is not a simple yes or no as the taxation of this popular snack is influenced by various factors, including its classification as a luxury food item and its potential inclusion in meal deals or combo offers.

Ultimately, retailers are responsible for charging the correct amount of VAT on Walkers Sensations Poppadoms, and consumers should be aware of the potential tax implications when purchasing this product.

"In the end, it is important to understand the complexities of VAT and its application to food products!"

While Walkers Sensations Poppadoms may not be exempt from VAT, consumers can still enjoy this delicious snack knowing that the correct amount of tax is being applied. So, next time you reach for a bag, remember the intricacies of taxation and enjoy every bite guilt-free.

Until next time ...

Business Godparent


Would you like to know more?

If anything I've written in this blog post resonates with you and you'd like to discover more about the Walkers Sensations Poppadoms taxation story or wonder about VAT on your own food products, it may be a great idea to call me on 01908 774320 and let's see how I can help you.

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About Roger Eddowes ...


Roger trained at Edward Thomas Peirson & Sons in Market Harborough before working at Hartwell & Co, followed by Chancery, as a partner. He started Essendon Accounts and Tax with Helen Beaumont in 2014 as a general practitioner with a hands-on approach.

Roger loves getting his hands dirty, working with emerging, small-to-medium and family businesses to ensure they receive the best possible accountancy advice. Roger utilises an extensive network of business contacts to leverage the best guidance and practical solutions.