And finally… takes the biscuit

Modern flapjacks are sweets and not cakes, the UK’s tax tribunal has ruled – with enormous tax implications for manufacturers.

In a case with echoes of the famous dispute over whether Jaffa Cakes are cakes or biscuits, the First-Tier Tribunal (Tax Chamber) said flapjacks made by Glanbia are too chewy to be considered cakes.

The judges conducted a taste test of Glanbia’s 36-product range and noted the “dense, chewy consistency similar to a fruit bar or an energy bar”, The Times reports.

They also said cakes “are typically eaten at celebratory functions”, but that these flapjacks would “look wholly out of place as a dessert” and would be eaten out of the wrapper.

In a statement, HMRC said it “accepts that a traditional flapjack can be treated as a cake and zero rated”, but those which have been “developed as a sports nutrition product” would incur 20 per cent VAT.

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