Are you aware of the VAT treatment on certain takeaway items?

Category: Food & DrinkTaxation - Posted On: Jun 8 2020

With many restaurants and cafes opening as takeaway only due to the impact of coronavirus, we wanted to highlight the different VAT rules that can apply to certain items.

All hot or cooked takeaway food and most drinks will continue to be subject to VAT at 20% but there are some cold items that can be zero rated for VAT.

When sold to takeaway, products such as sandwiches and cakes are zero rated and other food items such as pastries can be zero rated while they are still warm, as long as they are not kept warm after they have been cooked or advertised as “hot food”.

There will be some food and drink products that will always be standard rated regardless of how they are sold, including crisps, ice cream, chocolate, sweets and most drinks.

To be able to benefit from the zero rating for cold takeaway items, you will need to be able to clearly identify those sales from other products. You can do this through your till or EPOS systems to define which items qualify.

For further information or advice on how these rules affect you, please get in touch with our VAT Taxperts via

Alternatively, if you would like support with your food and drink business please contact our EQ Food & Drink specialists via food& or call one of our offices.