Is There VAT on Food Hampers? We Explain the Rules.

It’s a question we are frequently asked so here are the facts about VAT on food hampers and in the process we hope we will give you an insight in to the creation of our hampers. We have to consider all the VAT rules and it’s a complicated process.

A Basic Rule of Thumb For VAT on Food Hampers?

Is there VAT on wine?If it’s luxury it will be VATable – wine, champagne, port, chocolates and confectionary plus all the hardware such as crackers, which feature in quite a few of our Christmas hampers – Taste of Christmas, A Touch of Class, Christmas Tradition and Twelfth Night are examples. With every rule there is always an anomaly and interestingly smoked salmon is VAT free, as are Christmas puddings.

A plain biscuit carries no VAT but if it has been dipped in chocolate it does, choc chips don’t. Nuts in their original state, such as pistachios, carry no VAT either but if they are shelled or salted they do. Here are some more items that don’t pick up VAT – smoked meats, chutneys & jams, cheese and fresh ham. Delicious products that really are important ingredients in our Christmas hampers year after year.

Now the packaging. As Virginia Hayward is an online company we have to use packaging to make sure all our hampers arrive safely at their destinations. Our bubble wrap, filling and cooler packs inside the cardboard cartons come under ‘floating’ VAT. This means that they don’t influence the VAT calculations. Any packaging used to enhance the hamper into a gift – wicker basket, wooden box, ribbon, tissue paper and coloured shredded paper – carries VAT.

As a rough guide an average sized hamper will have a VATable rate of around 13-14%.

Is there VAT on food hampers? It’s not as simple as it looks. Creating beautiful hampers that have the right balance of content whilst also keeping an eye on costs takes years of practice. Even the VAT man gets muddled sometimes it’s so specialised! You will take a fresh look at Christmas hampers from now on.

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