Gooch wins millionaire’s shortbread prize

Tax manager Brian Gooch bagged chocolates and port, while this week after bagging the prizes in the first round of the Tax Trivia quiz posted on AccountingWEB by FreeAgent.

Brian was chosen at random from the 240 members who answered correctly that Millionaire’s shortbread was zero rated, while chocolate-covered shortbread was not.

HMRC’s VAT guidance on foodstuffs (paragraph 3.4) explains that shortbread would be zero-rated as a "traditional bakery product", but if it is covered with a layer of chocolate and nothing else, it becomes standard-rated. The caramel layer on a piece of millionaire's shortbread is the crucial element that allows it to keep its zero-rated status.

The correct answer to round 2’s National Insurance poser was £143. Less than half the participants got it right, and from them Ruth Thomas was the first name out of the hat. She won £50 in Amazon vouchers, thanks to FreeAgent.

FreeAgent’s tax trivia quiz is the brainchild of the cloud developer’s chief accountant, Emily Coltman.

“It's just light-hearted fun rather than having a deeper meaning,” she explained, but added that the VAT round stirred up a big response from AccountingWEB members.

“There are lots of quirky exceptions that can come up, especially when working with specialist small businesses,” she said. “We might do another one soon.”

Soon indeed. Round 3 in the series is now up and running, and it returns to similar territory It concerns an expense claim for summer fruit and Prosecco jelly, and sparkling jelly shots.  One of them is standard-rated for VAT, one of them is zero-rated. Can you say which?

The prize for this round in the FreeAgent Tax Trivia quiz will be a Cirencester Cheese & Wine Hamper worth over £50.