The heat is on

first_imgWhat is the difference between a toasted sandwich sold by Subway and one sold by Quiznos? Answer: 17.5% VAT, soon to go up to 20%. Why? because HMRC treats one as hot food and not the other.It is all to do with the legal definition of hot food for the purposes of VAT. The law makes suppliers of hot food subject to VAT. But to be classed as hot food, the food must have been heated for the dominant purposes of hot consumption. In other words, if the food was heated for some other purpose, it may be zero-rated for VAT. The trouble lies in establishing the purpose.In the case of Quiznos, a tax tribunal found that the dominant application of heat was to toast the sandwich, but for Subway, the tribunal found that the same process had a dominant purpose of making the food hot for consumption and the toasting was not the dominant element.In the past, the VAT tribunal has found that the dominant purpose in applying heat to hot meat pies (Pimblett) and Cornish pasties is to finish the baking process, the same is true of hot ciabatta melts (Ainsleys) and panini (Warren), to name but a few zero-rated items. On the other hand, freshly baked pizza is taxed.So how do you go about deciding which rate of tax is correct for your product? By checking the temperature. Did you know that the law regards something as hot if it is above ambient air temperature? This means that, on a cold day, lots of things could be regarded as hot even if your customer would regard them as cold. Subway’s toasted sandwiches were found by the tribunal to be lukewarm, but this made them above ambient air temperature.The other feature is that, if any part of a product is above ambient air temperature, the whole of the product is treated as hot. So lukewarm toast containing cold salad may be classed as hot.Once you have a temperature reading that is anything over ambient air temperature, you must then ask yourself your purpose in heating it. Is your purpose to complete a baking or similar process, or is it so that an item can be intentionally eaten hot by your customer? This bit sounds simple, but in practice, it is a difficult question. Recently, the tribunal has set about analysing intention in evermore complex ways for instance wishing to see franchise agreements of food outlets, operational manuals and advertising materials. The tribunal may attach great significance to a picture of a product showing steam rising from it, for example.The HMRC viewHMRC does offer guidance in its public notices, which are available online and you may wish to speak to them about this. But remember, HMRC is a tax collector and the number of tribunal cases it has lost shows that it is in the habit of ruling that hot food should be subject to VAT where it should not have done. So bakers need to think very carefully about a product before taking the matter to HMRC.Also, be prepared for HMRC to come to you and find products currently free of VAT to be reconsidered. In such cases, it is normal for HMRC to issue a back-dated assessment and charge interest, even where the tax was not collected. Sometimes, reconsidering the dominant purpose for heating may lead to a back-claim to HMRC for overpaid VAT, where VAT has been charged by mistake.But where agreement cannot be reached, appeals against HMRC decisions are taken to the first-tier tribunal tax chamber, a specialist court designated to deal with tax issues. HMRC has solicitors to deal with these issues, who normally instruct a specialist tax barrister to represent them. Although this sounds daunting, with careful preparation, a tribunal appeal can run smoothly. Even if the taxpayer loses the appeal, HMRC will not seek to recover its legal costs unless the appeal was frivolous or vexatious or there had been an agreement on costs at the onset. Each case must be looked at on its own merits.l Dipak Jotangia is an expert in tax, fraud and regulatory work at Dass Solicitorslast_img read more

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Green Mountain Coffee Roasters declares three-for-two stock split

first_imgGreen Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc (NASDAQ: GMCR) today announced that its Board of Directors has approved a three-for-two stock split to be effected in the form of a stock dividend. The Company will distribute one additional share of its common stock to all shareholders of record at the close of business on May 29, 2009 for every two shares of common stock held on that date. The shares will be distributed on June 8, 2009 by the Company’s transfer agent, Continental Stock Transfer so that the new shares issued will equal 1.5 times the pre-split number (rounded down as necessary) with fractional shares paid in cash. The Company’s common stock will begin trading on a split-adjusted basis on June 9, 2009 at the June 8th closing price divided by 1.5.“This stock dividend allows us to share our success with our loyal stockholders to the extent of our authorized stock and underscores our confidence in the strength of our Company and its prospects for the future,” said Larry Blanford, GMCR’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “We remain committed to building stockholder value by providing consumers with an extraordinary coffee experience while helping to make a positive difference in the world.”About Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc.As a leader in the specialty coffee industry, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc. (NASDAQ: GMCR) is recognized for its award-winning coffees, innovative brewing technology, and socially responsible business practices. GMCR’s operations are managed through two business units. The Specialty Coffee business unit produces coffee, tea and hot cocoa from its family of brands, including Tully’s Coffee®, Green Mountain Coffee® and Newman’s Own® Organics coffee. The Keurig business unit is a pioneer and leading manufacturer of gourmet single-cup brewing systems. K-Cup® portion packs for Keurig® Single-Cup Brewers are produced by a variety of licensed brands, including Green Mountain Coffee and Tully’s Coffee. GMCR supports local and global communities by offsetting 100% of its direct greenhouse gas emissions, investing in Fair Trade Certified™ coffee, and donating at least five percent of its pre-tax profits to social and environmental projects. Visit www.GreenMountainCoffee.com(link is external) and www.Keurig.com(link is external) for more information.Forward-Looking StatementsCertain statements contained herein are not based on historical fact and are “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the applicable securities laws and regulations. Owing to the uncertainties inherent in forward-looking statements, actual results could differ materially from those stated here. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, the impact on sales and profitability of consumer sentiment in this difficult economic environment, the Company’s success in efficiently expanding operations and capacity to meet growth, the Company’s success in efficiently and effectively integrating Tully’s wholesale operations and capacity into its Specialty Coffee business unit, the ability of our lenders to honor their commitments under our credit facility, competition and other business conditions in the coffee industry and food industry in general, fluctuations in availability and cost of high-quality green coffee, any other increases in costs including fuel, Keurig’s ability to continue to grow and build profits with its roaster partners in the office and at home businesses, the impact of the loss of major customers for the Company or reduction in the volume of purchases by major customers, delays in the timing of adding new locations with existing customers, the Company’s level of success in continuing to attract new customers, sales mix variances, weather and special or unusual events, as well as other risks described more fully in the Company’s filings with the SEC. Forward-looking statements reflect management’s analysis as of the date of this press release. The Company does not undertake to revise these statements to reflect subsequent developments, other than in its regular, quarterly earnings releases. WATERBURY, Vt.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–last_img read more

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34 Raceway car show, kick off party March 15-16

first_imgWEST BURLINGTON, Iowa – 34 Raceway is gearing up for its 2014 season with the annual Midwest Performance & Power Westland Mall two-day car show and the Roederer’s kickoff party Saturday, March 15 and Sunday March 16. Racers in all divisions taking to the track this season will have their cars on display at Westland Mall during regular mall hours both days.Saturday night, March 15 will be the Roederer’s 2014 Season kickoff party starting at 6 p.m. There will be prizes, food and drinks and fun.The 2014 lidlifter is Saturday, March 29 with the Brockway Mechanical Sprint Invaders season opener. Join us at Westland Mall in West Burlington and Roederer’s Pit Stop, 1100 Chalfant Street in Burlington this Saturday and Sunday as we get ready for an exciting and fan-friendly 2014 racing season at 34 Raceway. For more information on the upcoming race season at 34 Raceway go to www.34raceway.com and facebook.last_img read more

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