Pasty tax: Which takeaway foods will have VAT added?

The government has reversed its plans to impose VAT on Cornish pasties and other baked goods sold on shelves.

The change means hot food, such as sausage rolls or pasties that are cooling down rather than being kept hot in a special cabinet, will not be liable for VAT.

So, which takeaways will have VAT added and which won't? Explore the table to find out.

Pasty tax: The details

Food Temperature at time of purchase VAT? Reason

Source: HMRC


Pasties, sausage rolls, pies or other pastries

Hot and straight from the oven


Although your pasty is hot, it is not being kept warm, so therefore you would not pay VAT

Left to cool to room temperature


Your pasty is not being kept warm, so you would not pay VAT

Kept hot in a cabinet, on a hot plate or under a heat lamp


Your pasty is being kept warm and, according to the new rules, VAT is due





Cold food is zero-rated for tax purposes, so you would not pay VAT

Fresh bread


Freshly baked, cooling or cold


Bread is not kept warm, even though it may be straight from the oven, so would be VAT free

Roast chicken

Rotisserie chicken

Hot from the spit


VAT on takeaway food intended to be served hot was already payable and stays so

Kept hot in a cabinet, on a hot plate or under a heat lamp


As the food is kept hot and served hot, VAT is payable

Left to cool to room temperature


If the chicken is cooked then left to cool, such as in bags in a supermarket, it will be exempt from VAT

Fish and chips

Takeaways, such as fish and chips



VAT remains on all takeaway food served hot

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