Alcoholic or non-alcoholic drinks consumed in bars, entertainment venues, cafes, beer halls and clubs, will now be subject to a lowered VAT, Commissioner of Taxation Sotiris Markides, announced in a related circular released to vendors.

Until recently, imbibing alcohol in drinking venues carried a charge of 19 per cent VAT, whereas drinks in a restaurant accompanied by food, were charged at 9 per cent. A recent court decision has ruled that the 9 per cent charge will now apply across the board.

The commissioner clarified that the delivery of food and/or drinks by a business for consumption outside its premises, still falls under its original legal provision, to be taxed at 5 per cent VAT.