Vegan snack bars marketed as healthy are no different to KitKat in the eyes of the taxman, a court case has shown.
Morrisons is locked in a legal dispute with His Majesty’s Revenue & Customs (HMRC) over how to tax fruit and nut bars and veggie snacks, revealing that the tax authority treats them no differently to chocolate bars.
The supermarket is trying to reclaim almost £1.1m in VAT on the sale of snacks made by Nakd and Organix between 2014 and 2018.
Supermarkets do not have to pay VAT on most food products apart from certain exceptions such as crisps, alcohol, ice cream, and confectionery. Morrisons has argued that the Nakd and Organix bars should be exempt, but HMRC disagrees.
The taxman has argued Morrisons should pay the same rate of tax on the sale of Nakd and Organix as they do on chocolates like Kit Kat and Mars Bar.
Nakd’s website describes its products as “healthy vegan snack bars”, and its packs state the bars contain no added sugar with 100pc natural ingredients.
Organix, meanwhile, sells food for toddlers, including oat bars, pouches and biscuits. Its bars carry a ‘no junk promise’ and contain ingredients such as wholegrain oats, raisins and sunflower oil.