Budget: VAT quiz

VAT Quiz

You probably pay some VAT every week and the government may be about to raise it. But how much do you really know about it?


1.) Taking away

Why are you charged less to "take away" than you are to "eat in" at a sandwich shop but not a burger bar?

  1. To encourage people to eat fewer burgers
  2. VAT is only charged on hot take-aways, not cold ones
  3. VAT is only charged on take-aways that are predominantly meat

2.) Wind turbines

If you go into a shop and walk out with a wind turbine, what rate of VAT will you have had to pay?

A wind turbine on a house
  1. Zero
  2. 5%
  3. 17.5%

3.) Yogurt

Which of the following do you not have to pay VAT on?

  1. Frozen yogurt that is meant to be eaten frozen
  2. Frozen yogurt that is meant to be defrosted before eating
  3. Both

4.) Darling's cut

Alistair Darling cut the standard rate of VAT to 15% from December 2008 until the end of 2009. When had it last been charged at 15%?

Alistair Darling
  1. 1979
  2. 1985
  3. 1991

5.) Car seats

What rate of VAT will Mr Cameron have paid on his child's booster seat and indeed the car seat he's just dropped?

David Cameron with a booster seat
  1. Zero
  2. 5%
  3. 17.5%


  1. It's because sandwiches are cold. Cold take-aways are zero-rated for VAT while hot ones are charged at 17.5%. Either hot or cold food eaten in a restaurant will be charged at 17.5%.
  2. It's 17.5%. It would have been 5% if you had arranged to have it installed at the same time, but the turbine by itself is standard-rated at 17.5%.
  3. It's the yogurt that needs defrosting. Any food designed to be eaten while frozen attracts 17.5% VAT.
  4. In 1991, Chancellor Norman Lamont raised it from 15% to 17.5%.
  5. It's 5%. Children's car seats and booster seats are charged at the reduced rate.

Your Score

0 - 2 : Zero-rated

3 - 4 : Five percent

5 - 7 : 17.5%

You can find out more about VAT from this animated guide.

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