Max Schofield in VAT zero-rating of Turmeric Shots

The First-Tier Tribunal (Tax) has released its decision in a case concerning the VAT liability of Turmeric and Ginger shots.

The Turmeric Co was launched in 2018 by former professional footballer, Thomas Robson-Kanu, and his father. Both had used home-made shots containing turmeric to support their health and wellbeing, crediting the shots with Mr Robson-Kanu’s longevity in his professional football career.

Max Schofield, on behalf of the taxpayer, argued that the shots were liquid food drinks consumed for their turmeric content. As such, they did not fall within any available definition of beverage for the purposes of Schedule 8 of the Value Added Tax Act 1994. The Tribunal agreed, concluding: “The purpose of the Shots is entirely functional: to maximise the consumers’ daily ingestion of curcumin which is achieved by cold-pressing the raw ingredients into a liquid.”

This judgment contributes to the developing case law of VAT on food and beverages, building on the decision in The Core, for which Max also appeared for the taxpayer. 

Max was instructed by George Williams and Daniel Rice at Grant Thornton UK LLP.

The judgment in Innate Essence Limited (t/a The Turmeric Co) v HMRC [2023] UKFTT 00371 (TC) is available here.

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