VATupdate Newsletter Week 20 2021

Here we are again with the weekly newsletter, bringing you the latest VAT news from around the world.

This week we had quite some webinars and online conferences on e-commerce. This seems to be the number 1 topic for VAT at the moment. Of course that is all due to the new EU VAT rules from 1 July 2021. Not many tax authorities seem to be ready for it, though, especially not for the Import One Stop Shop registrations: in most EU countries registration for this scheme is not yet available. And with 40 days to go, it seems that many non-EU webshops will have their goods stuck at the border on 1 July 2021, when the import exemption for VAT no longer applies.

After the cases on Pringles and Tea Cakes in the UK, there’s now another case dealing with the question if it’s food or a snack. The UK court decided that ‘Nakd bars’ are to be regarded the date-based snack bar is confectionery and not a cake. Cakes are zero-rated for VAT in the UK (because they are regarded ‘foodstuff’) and confectionery is regarded a snack (which is standard rated). As usual in these UK cases, it’s funny to read the case, where the judges actually tasted a selection of the bars at a three-day hearing, and where both parties and the judges argue about ingredients, taste and tradition. Great comparisons such as “KitKats are 51% sugar; Maltesers are 51.7% sugar and Mars bars are 59.9% sugar, while Green & Black’s organic dark chocolate contains 28.5% sugar.” and arguments such as “The sweetness in the bars are intrinsic, due to the ingredients, particularly the dates, and the packaging focuses on the health benefits of the snacks.”. Definitely worth a read for this weekend.

There’s of course much more this weekend. No, I’m not talking about the Monaco Formula 1 (although we are a big fan of Max Verstappen, so we’ll certainly watch the race), but more importantly: the grand final of the Eurovision Song Festival! Organized in the Netherlands, and postponed from last year, the show is even bigger than ever. Have fun with strange costumes, many scripted jokes, and of course a lot of false notes. Vicarious shame guaranteed… The theme is inclusivity, and that’s of course always a good thing. Because we would like to include everyone in the wonderful world of VAT.

Have a great week!