The case (Fiscal Court Berlin-Brandenburg, 22 January 2015, 5 V 5260/14) concerns the distinction of goods and services if food is supplied in combination with further service elements (only for the supply of food a reduced VAT rate can be applied).

In the case at hand, the entrepreneur supplied a box with food and added a recipe to the box. The box contained the exact sort and quantity of food to cook a meal with the added recipe. The tax office assessed this not as a regular supply of food (reduced VAT rate), but as a service supply (regular VAT rate).

The Fiscal Court Berlin-Brandenburg suspended the assessment of the tax office in an urgent legal proceeding and ruled that the sorting, packing and delivery of food in an exact quantity with a recipe to cook the delivered food still qualifies as a supply of goods under German VAT law. The addition of a recipe (in the case at hand the customer could also receive it free of charge via Internet) qualifies only as an additional perk and does not change the nature of the supply to a service supply. As a result, the reduced VAT rate must apply.