United Biscuits has failed in its attempt to ensure that its McCoy’s Dips is classified as a food rather than a snack.

Under UK law, food produce is exempt from value added tax (VAT) while snacks are liable to the tax.

Snacks are defined as “potato crisps, potato sticks, potato puffs, and savoury products obtained by the swelling of cereals or cereal products; and salted or roasted nuts.” According to reports in the UK press, United Biscuits argued that its product requires an element of preparation and should therefore be classified as a food.

Dismissing United Biscuits’ appeal, chairman of the VAT Tribunal Colin Bishopp said “we are satisfied that dipping a crisp into a pot of salsa cannot amount to preparation in any normal sense of the word.”

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