Funding activities

Subway bread is not bread, Irish court rules

LONDON (AP) — The Supreme Court of Ireland has ruled that bread sold by fast-food chain Subway contains so much sugar that it cannot legally be defined as bread.

The decision comes in a tax dispute brought by Bookfinders Ltd., an Irish Subway franchisee, which argued that some of its takeaway products – including teas, coffees and heated sandwiches – were not subject to the value added tax.

A panel of judges rejected the appeal on Tuesday, ruling that the bread sold by Subway contains too much sugar to be categorized as “staple food”, which is not taxed.

“It is undisputed that the bread supplied by Subway in its heated sandwiches has a sugar content of 10% of the weight of the flour included in the dough, and therefore exceeds the 2% specified,” reads the judgment. .

The law distinguishes between “bread as a staple” and other baked goods “that are, or approach, confectionery or novelty baked goods,” according to the ruling.

Subway disagreed with the characterization in a statement.

“Subway’s bread is, of course, bread,” the company said in an email. “We’ve been baking fresh bread in our restaurants for more than three decades and our customers come back every day for sandwiches made on bread that smells as good as it tastes.

Bookfinders was appealing a 2006 decision by authorities refusing to refund value added tax payments. Lower courts had dismissed the case before it reached the Supreme Court.

Subway said it is reviewing the latest tax ruling. He added that the decision was based on an outdated bread exemption set by the Irish government and updated in 2012.