“Calculating VAT can be complex for garden centres – especially if you try to sell sunflower seeds.” That’s the message from Electronic Point of Sale (EPOS) specialist CSY Retail Systems, who is helping retailers to understand how to accurately record the VAT rates on their products.
“Edible seeds such as sunflower seeds are zero-rated, which means consumers aren’t charged any VAT – but not always, as it depends on the intent. If the seeds are packaged or promoted as wild bird food, the seeds are no longer zero-rated and reverts to the standard rate,” explains Ross Pierrepont, Managing Director of CSY.
“It isn’t only seeds where VAT rates can catch garden centres off guard. Did you know that gift sets which combine a book and CD need to be charged at a special composite rate, because VAT is only chargeable on the CD but not on the book?
“An EPOS system is a smart way of solving these issues. It is easy to integrate EPOS with stock management software, so that items can be entered into the system with the appropriate VAT rate.
“For businesses like garden centres where customers pay different rates of VAT, the EPOS system can also be set up to prompt store assistants to input the correct details, to speed up service and guarantee accuracy.”