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Subway rolls aren’t actually bread, court rules

Ireland’s Supreme Court ruled that Subway’s rolls aren’t actually bread.

A Subway employee hands out free sandwiches during the 8th annual Subway Day at Pioneer Park in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, May 16, 2017. Subway Restaurants in Utah teamed with the Rescue Mission to provide the sandwiches and other services for homeless individuals.
A Subway employee hands out free sandwiches during the 8th annual Subway Day at Pioneer Park in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, May 16, 2017. Subway Restaurants in Utah teamed with the Rescue Mission to provide the sandwiches and other services for homeless individuals.
Alex Goodlett, Deseret News

The Irish Supreme Court recently ruled that Subway’s rolls used for hot sandwiches should not be considered as bread, BBC News reports.

What’s going on?

Subway made the case that it should not have to pay value-added tax — a consumption tax added to a product at every point of sale — on its rolls because they’re bread. Irish law considers bread to be a stable food with a zero rate of VAT.

  • But the Irish Supreme Court ruled that Subway’s rolls have a high amount of sugar, which disqualifies them from being bread, BBC News reports.
  • This was the case for all of the company’s bread choices, including the Italian white bread, Italian herbs and cheese, nine-grain wheat, hearty Italian, nine-grain multi-seed, and honey oat types.
  • Ireland’s VAT Act of 1992 said sugar and fat in bread should not exceed 2% of the weight of the flower. Subway rolls are around 10%.
  • The rolls will now have a VAT tax rate of 13.5%.

One more note

Subway’s nutrition facts show that a 6-inch white bread roll has five grams of sugar, which is about the same amount in one Oreo cookie, the New York Post reports,