Subway takes VAT ruling to Court of Appeal

Kashflow logo
Rachael Power
Community Correspondent
Sift Media
Share this content

Sandwich franchise Subway has confirmed it is taking its appeal against VAT on its toasted products to the Court of Appeal.

The appeal, which is expected to go ahead before October, will determine the fate of millions of pounds worth of VAT assessments.

In July, a Yorkshire franchise of the popular food outlet, Sub One Ltd, lost its Upper Tier Tribunal appeal against HMRC’s decision to assess VAT on its toasted products.

Subway has historically had to pay VAT (currently at 20%) on its toasted food products, while some competitors who supply similar products have paid no VAT.

HMRC is expected to challenge the appeal, but refused to comment further.

A Revenue spokesperson said: “HMRC understands that Subway has been given leave to appeal. However, we cannot make any further comments while litigation is ongoing.”

Please Login or Register to read the full article

The full article is available to registered members only. To read the rest of this article you’ll need to login or register. Registration is FREE and allows you to view all content, ask questions, comment and much more.


Please login or register to join the discussion.

21st Jan 2013 12:27

Take away food

So..... should we be putting in "protective claims" ......or not?

Thanks (0)
21st Jan 2013 12:55

You have nothing to lose by putting in a protective claim!!

Thanks (0)
22nd Jan 2013 11:49

Take away food - protective VAT claim

OK so here's my next question!

A protective VAT claim can only go back four years.

So in Jan 2013 we are looking at Jan 2009 as the earliest date within the claim period.

But what about periods after 1st October 2012 when the law changed?



Thanks (0)
22nd Jan 2013 19:25

Not sure I follow - what are you asking??

Thanks (0)
23rd Jan 2013 10:12

Protective VAT claims

According to CCH online dated 14/01/13:

Article entitled "Renewed hope for the "meatball sub" VAT case"

Last paragraph reads:

"There is still time for other businesses to submit retrospective claims to stand over behind the ongoing Subway case, but claims need to be with HMRC promptly as the four year clock to submit such claims started ticking when the law was changed following the introduction of the "pasty tax" on 1st October 2012."

I have not been able to understand how the changes from 1st October 2012 make any difference to an argument based on the definition of a supply "in the course of catering."

So I suppose my question is:

In the context of making a claim to protect earlier periods from going out of date, what exactly started ticking on 1st October 2012?

Thanks (0)
By cruddle
23rd Jan 2013 11:57

The whole issue was cleared up with the pasty tax and Manfred Bog from 1 October 2012 and the law that is being challenged was legislated against.

Thanks (0)
23rd Jan 2013 12:11

VAT on "Hot" food sales.

The article refers to similar products being VAT exempt, what are these? Obviously a fresh and therefore hot loaf of bread would be exempt but this is not similar.

A toasted sandwich is meant to be consumed hot you would not wait for it to go cold before consuming it!`

Thanks (0)
23rd Jan 2013 14:18

Hot off the press

Phew!! Thanks for clearing that up!

Now we don't need the European Courts or a whole bunch of lawyers!


Thanks (0)
By SueA
23rd Jan 2013 19:39

VAT on subway rolls

The Subway rolls are very lightly toasted for "crunch" only - they are not a "toasted sandwich" which would have hot ingredients also.  Certainly when you purchase a subway you don`t expect to eat it hot- well, I don`t!   They lightly toast the roll, then put in all of the cold ingredients in, and wrap the whole thing up.  By the time you take it away to eat, it is certainly cold.

Thanks (0)
24th Jan 2013 00:59

Law is completely unfair
It is OK to eat a hot pasty and have no VAT, but have to pay VAT for Hot Take away food. It is never consumed on premises as there is no seating, if seating then fine, charge VAT but if taken away, never hot by the time you get home, most sensible people don't walk around eating their food. So use common sense HMRC, How can it be the same across the board??should there be 20% tax??on having food packed in cardboard boxes, having to walk or drive home or if delivered to home, food will hardly be consumed hot!!!!! No don't think there should.!!!
Or should there be 20% tax on sitting in a posh restaurant with cutlery,and having food hot on plate, drinks in posh crystal glasses brought to you by a friendly waiter who keeps coming to you at every need. I think there should!!!! Makes sense doesn't it. It's time for equality and fairness.

Thanks (0)
24th Jan 2013 01:12

Hot Pasty is classed as food or not???
Rules are hypocritical, VAT should be on Hot Food, that's the LAW they say, so I think HMRC don't class the hot pasty as a food item?????? Wonder what they think it is???

Thanks (0)
24th Jan 2013 09:25

VAT protective claims

Thanks for all your comments, everyone.

But I still do not think anyone has answered my very specific question which is this:

In putting in a protective claim in connection with VAT on take-away food as at January 2013 would your claim cover the period

1. January 2009 - January 2013 or;

2. January 2009 - September 2012

Answers on a post-card please!


Thanks (0)
24th Jan 2013 12:27

Pasty is hot because it has just been cooked and is cooling down when it is purchased.

Fancy asking HMRC to apply common sense,whatever next!!


Thanks (0)
25th Jan 2013 01:23

Sorry, didn't quite get that. I'm sure any food that is COOKED is HOT, not just pasty, sorry not one rule for Greggs and another rule for everyone else. In most take away shops food is cooked and kept warm just like the pasty.Well it's all the fat cats that get away from HMRC, and small businesses suffer. Well if HMRC carry on like this there will be no small businesses coz they'll go bankrupt and many more people will lose their jobs and then the government can give them loads of benefits and they can enjoy taxpayers money while sitting at home. We see it every week, businesses closing down, i think they want people to lose their jobs, if they didn't they would support businesses rather than penalising them, tax tax tax Here comes more unemployment probably get more benefits sitting at home rather than working.Ur so right!!common sense WHATEVER!!!!!!

Thanks (0)
25th Jan 2013 09:14

VAT protective claims for hot food supplies

Is the period for these (as at Jan 2013)

(a) Jan 2009 - Jan 2013 i.e. four years or

(b) Jan 2009 - Sept 2012 i.e. go back four years but stop at 1st October 2012 because of changes introduced then?


Thanks (0)