|HMRC Reference:Notice 701/15 (December 2011)||View Change History|
This notice cancels and replaces Notice 701/15 (March 2002).
This notice explains which:
Paragraph 10.3 has been updated to include the liability of livery packages provided by special purpose stables.
This notice and others mentioned are available on our Internet website at hmrc.gov.uk.
The information will be of interest to:
You can zero-rate the:
of a live animal provided it is of a kind generally used in the United Kingdom as, or yielding or producing, food for human consumption.
Animal includes bird, fish, crustacean and mollusc.
Examples of zero-rated animals are:
Examples of standard-rated animals are:
No. Although some unusual meat, for example kangaroo steak, may be sold as food in the shops, kangaroos are not animals of a kind generally reared for food in the United Kingdom. Live kangaroos, therefore, are standard-rated.
Animals that will be kept as pets can be zero-rated only if they are of a kind that is normally used for human food production. For example, rabbits, other than ornamental breeds, are always zero-rated.
Yes, if they are of a kind normally producing food for human consumption. Sheep kept mainly for their wool, or bulls used for breeding are zero-rated.
No. Animals which are removed from the human food chain because they are no longer fit for human consumption, for example because of disease, are standard-rated.
Embryos of species which are normally used for human food may be zero-rated if they are to be used for breeding.
Anything below the embryo stage is standard-rated.
Eggs and fish roes which are normally used for food for human consumption and are fit for such use are always zero-rated.
Most breeds of chicken are zero-rated, as are game birds and ostriches. Ornamental breeds of birds are standard-rated.
The following breeds of ducks, geese and turkeys are zero-rated:
Type of Fowl
Aylesbury, Campbell (Khaki Campbell), Indian Runner, Muscovy, Pekin and derivatives and crossbreeds of these.
Brecon Buff, Chinese Commercial, Embdem, Roman, Toulouse and derivatives and crossbreeds of these.
Beltsville White, British White, Broadbreasted White, Bronze (Broadbreasted Bronze), Norfolk Black and derivatives and crossbreeds of these.
Type of fish
These are zero-rated
These are standard-rated
Eels, salmon and trout and others recognised as food for human consumption
Bream, perch, pike, carp and tench
Oysters, mussels, whelks etc
Non food species
Fish for aquaria
Fish used as bait
Fish of a kind, and fit for, human consumption
All other supplies
Ornamental fish, for example koi carp
You can zero-rate most food that is to be fed to animals (including birds, fish, crustaceans and molluscs) except:
General animal feeding stuffs are dealt with in more detail in Section 5. Products with more than one use that are sometimes used as animal food are covered in Section 9.
You cannot zero-rate animal food simply because it was zero-rated when you bought it. You must hold it out for sale as animal food. Held out for sale includes:
You can zero-rate supplies of most commodities recognised as animal feeding stuffs by the trade and by farmers, that is:
Only if they are feeding stuffs themselves. Components having no significant nutritive value, such as flavourings, appetisers, binders and colouring agents, are standard-rated even if they are supplied as ingredients for animal feeding stuffs.
Probiotics, which act on the digestive system but have no nutritional value in themselves, are always standard-rated.
Nutritional supplements for animals are zero-rated, irrespective of whether they will be added to normal feed or given separately. This includes:
Supplements designed specifically for pet species, or which are held out for sale for pets are standard-rated.
This depends on how it is held out for sale – see paragraph 4.2. Products that are zero-rated when sold as animal food are standard-rated when sold for:
Section 9 also contains information on products with more than one use.
Any animal food which is:
Fresh, frozen or chilled meat and fish products, for dogs or dogs and cats which:
is zero-rated whether or not it is packaged.
These animals are pet species:
Some animals that are not pet species may be kept as pets, such as:
Their food can be zero-rated unless it is packaged or held out for sale in a way that shows it is intended for a pet.
A product which is claimed as being suitable for all breeds, size and age of dog is standard-rated.
If a specially formulated food is held out for sale exclusively for working dogs it will come within the scope of the VAT relief – unless it is biscuit or meal.
Dog food is standard-rated if it is, for example, for...
Dog food (other than biscuit or meal) is zero-rated if it is exclusively for…
sheepdog breeds - Old English, German shepherd, Collie etc
working sheep dogs of any breed
Labradors, Pointers, Retrievers, etc
dogs trained and used as gun dogs
All biscuit and meal for cats and dogs is standard-rated.
The terms ‘biscuit’ and ‘meal’ mean dry products either:
You must standard-rate canned, packaged or prepared products that are held out for sale as pet food – see paragraph 6.1.
Canned or packaged means pre-packed for retail sale in any can, sealed bag, carton or other container of 12.5 kilograms or less.
If you simply put loose produce in a plain paper or polythene bag at the point of sale, it is not ‘packaged’. This applies whether the bag is filled after your customer has bought it, or ahead of time in anticipation of sale.
Prepared means having undergone any of the processes listed in paragraphs 7.4 or 7.5 or similar processes.
Products, other than food for working dogs - see paragraph 6.4, and food for human consumption, which have undergone any of the following processes, are pet food and are standard-rated however they are held out for sale:
Products which have undergone any of these processes are animal food but are standard-rated only if they are packaged or held out for sale as pet food:
The liability of bird food can depend on:
Cage birds, for example budgerigars, finches and parrots, are pets and therefore their food will be standard-rated if it has been:
All food for poultry and game birds is zero-rated. This includes pigeon grit and pigeon food unless it contains ingredients similar to food for cage birds – see paragraph 8.2.
Any food which is both packaged and held out for sale for feeding to wild birds is standard-rated. As well as ordinary retail packages – see paragraph 7.2, special packs, for example, ‘bird nets’ of foods such as peanuts designed for hanging from a tree or bird table, are standard-rated.
Special mixes of foods for wild birds are zero-rated provided they are not packaged for retail sale – see paragraph 7.2.
Peanuts and other straights such as sunflower seeds will be standard-rated if they are both:
Most meat, offal and similar products from abattoirs which are for use in animal feeds are zero-rated.
Abattoir products are standard-rated if they:
Greaves supplied in pieces of a size suitable for feeding to pets are also standard-rated.
Dead mice, rats and day old chicks sold for feeding to ‘exotic’ pets such as reptiles may be zero-rated unless they are specifically prepared or canned or otherwise packaged as pet food.
Oils and fats (including tallow’s) of a kind suitable for use in animal feeding stuffs are zero-rated unless:
Waste oil from fish and chip shops etc. generally requires processing before it can be used as an animal feed ingredient, and is therefore usually standard-rated. However, a need only for sieving, decanting or heating does not disqualify the oil from zero-rating.
Medicines are not covered by the zero-rate even where they are administered in an animal’s feed.
Some feeding stuffs incorporate medicines and the VAT liability is determined by the basic nature of the product. A product is zero-rated only if the addition of medicinal substances does not alter the essential nature of the product as a feeding stuff. As a general guideline, a product is standard-rated if it is the subject of a product licence or marketing authorisation issued by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.
Veterinary medicines supplied to certain charities may be eligible for zero-rating under a different relief – see Notice 701/1 Charities.
Under an agreement with the main trade associations, ‘held out for sale for non food use’ includes supplies to customers known to be:
Supplies to these customers will be standard-rated.
If you supply grazing rights for horses, sheep or any other grazing animals the supply is zero-rated as animal feed. However, where grazing or other food forms part of a supply of care of an animal or group of animals, see Section 10.
Unless they are:
(a) sold for a non-food purpose; or
(b) held out for sale as packaged or prepared pet food; or
(c) packaged as food for wild birds;
the following are zero-rated:
The supply of the keep of animals is generally standard-rated, but see paragraph 10.3. Even if you supply animal feed as part of the service of care, the full consideration for your service is standard-rated. The feed element cannot be treated as a separate zero-rated supply.
If you allow an owner exclusive use of stabling (that is you allocate all or an identifiable part of the stabling for the sole use of his animals) this is either an exempt supply of a right over land or standard-rated if you exercise the ‘option to tax’ – see Notice 742 Land and property.
You may zero-rate separate supplies of feed (either as general feed or in the form of grazing rights) only when no element of care is supplied.
These are services provided for horses in a stable that go beyond the right to occupy the stable.
They may include:
but not clearly identifiable separate supplies such as veterinary services.
You must standard-rate the supply of livery services, including any food provided, unless the stabling is an exempt right over land – see paragraph 10.2 – which you have not opted to tax.
If the supply of stabling is a right over land and you have not opted to tax it, the whole livery package is exempt unless it is provided by a special purpose stable. Livery packages provided by special purpose stables (such as race horse trainers, stud farms and stables involved in schooling horses or breaking them in) are standard rated.
Your Charter explains what you can expect from us and what we can expect from you. For more information go to Your Charter.
If you have any comments or suggestions to make about this notice, please write to:
HM Revenue & Customs
VAT Liability Policy Team
VAT Products and Processes
100 Parliament Street
Please note this address is not for general enquiries.
For your general enquiries please phone our Helpline on 0845 010 9000.
If you are unhappy with our service, please contact the person or office you have been dealing with. They will try to put things right. If you are still unhappy, they will tell you how to complain.
If you want to know more about making a complaint go to hmrc.gov.uk and under quick links, select Complaints.
HM Revenue & Customs is a Data Controller under the Data Protection Act 1998. We hold information for the purposes specified in our notification to the Information Commissioner, including the assessment and collection of tax and duties, the payment of benefits and the prevention and detection of crime, and may use this information for any of them.
We may get information about you from others, or we may give information to them. If we do, it will only be as the law permits to:
We may check information we receive about you with what is already in our records. This can include information provided by you, as well as by others, such as other government departments or agencies and overseas tax and customs authorities. We will not give information to anyone outside HM Revenue & Customs unless the law permits us to do so. For more information go to hmrc.gov.uk and look for Data Protection Act within the Search facility.
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