Zero-rating of books etc

HMRC Reference:Notice 701/10 (December 2011) View Change History
 

Contents

Foreword

1. Introduction

1.1 What this notice is about

1.2 What law covers this notice?

2. The format of the Group 3 items

3. Meaning of the Group 3 items

3.1 Books and booklets

3.2 Brochures and pamphlets

3.3 Leaflets

3.4 Items with areas for completion

3.5 Newspapers

3.6 Journals and periodicals

3.7 Children’s picture books

3.8 Children’s painting books

3.9 Music

3.10 Maps, charts and topographical plans

4. Items not included within any of the Group 3 items

4.1 Posters

4.2 Stationery

4.3 Letters

4.4 Incomplete publications

4.5 Photocopies

4.6 Supplies to charities

5. Related supplies

5.1 Incidental articles supplied with zero-rated items

5.2 Binders and folders

5.3 Loans, hire and shares

5.4 Book tokens

5.5 Small order surcharges

5.6 Postage packing and delivery charges

5.7 Subsidy or vanity publishing

6. Single and multiple supplies

6.1 Transactions with more than one element

6.2 Distinguishing between single and multiple supplies

6.3 The three possible liability outcomes

6.4 Common examples and problem areas

6.5 Packages consisting entirely of items printed on paper or card (“The package test”)

6.6 The package test for charities

6.7 Promotional items in magazines

6.8 Where can I find further information about this?

7. Production of zero-rated goods

7.1 Nature of the service

7.2 When do you supply services of an original or specialist nature?

7.3 When is your service that of the production of new zero-rated goods?

8. Liability of some common items

Your rights and obligations

Do you have any comments or suggestions?

Putting things right

How we use your information

 

Foreword

This notice cancels and replaces Notice 701/10 (October 2010).

1. Introduction

1.1 What this notice is about

It explains the nature of, and the circumstances when you can zero-rate books and other forms of printed matter (the items listed in Group 3 of schedule 8 of the Value Added Tax Act 1994 reproduced in paragraph 1.3).

1.2 What law covers this notice?

The Value Added Tax Act 1994, section 30 provides for the zero-rating of goods listed in Schedule 8 of the Act.

Schedule 8, Group 3 sets out which books, etc. which may be zero-rated as follows:

Group 3 - Books, etc.

Item No.

1. Books, booklets, brochures, pamphlets and leaflets.

2. Newspapers, journals and periodicals.

3. Children's picture books and painting books.

4. Music (printed, duplicated or manuscript).

5. Maps, charts and topographical plans.

6. Covers, cases and other articles supplied with items 1 to 5 and not separately accounted for.

Note:

Items 1 to 6 -

(a) do not include plans or drawings for industrial, architectural, engineering, commercial or similar purposes, but

(b) include the supply of the services described in paragraph 1(1) of Schedule 4 in respect of goods comprised in the items.

The effect of paragraph 1(1) of Schedule 4 is explained in paragraph 5.3.

2. The format of the Group 3 items

The words in Group 3 are used in their ordinary, everyday sense. This means they are restricted to goods produced on paper and similar materials such as card (but see paragraph 3.7). Most items qualifying for the zero-rating will be products of the printing industry (including items printed in Braille), but goods which are photocopied, typed or hand-written will, in some cases, also qualify.

Goods containing text in other formats such as audio or video cassettes or CD Rom are standard-rated. This includes the storage and distribution of text by fax, e-mail, microfiche, or any similar process. Transcripts or print-outs made of such information are zero-rated if they are supplied in the form of books, booklets, brochures, pamphlets or leaflets as defined in section 3.

The supply of text by electronic transmission (including e-books), via the internet, or similar means is also standard-rated. Such supplies are of services, not of goods, and different VAT rules will apply to them (such as those on the place of supply of services – see Notice 741A Place of supply of services.

3. Meaning of the Group 3 items

The meaning of the individual items is explained in detail below. Whether a particular item falls within those meanings depends mainly on its physical characteristics and function but also, to a lesser extent, on its content.

3.1 Books and booklets

These normally consist of text or illustrations, bound in a cover stiffer than their pages. They may be printed in any language or characters (including Braille or shorthand), photocopied, typed or hand-written, so long as they are found in book or booklet form.

Supplies of any of the following are zero-rated:

  • literary works
  • reference books
  • directories and catalogues
  • antique books
  • collections of letters or documents permanently bound in covers
  • loose-leaf books, manuals or instructions, whether complete with their binder or not, and
  • amendments to zero-rated loose-leaf books, even if issued separately.

School work books and other educational texts in question and answer format, are zero-rated because the spaces provided for the insertion of answers are incidental to the essential character of the book or booklet. The same applies to exam papers in question and answer format provided they qualify as books, booklets, brochures, pamphlets or leaflets.

But supplies of the following are standard-rated:

  • books of plans or drawings for industrial, architectural, engineering, commercial or similar purposes
  • picture card and stamp albums, unless they contain a substantial amount of reading matter which is complete in itself, and no more than 25% of the album is set aside for the mounting of cards and stamps
  • completed stamp albums, and
  • products that are essentially stationery items, for example, diaries and address books.

3.2 Brochures and pamphlets

These are not defined in law and whether a particular product qualifies as a brochure or pamphlet is a matter of fact and impression.

Brochures usually consist of several sheets of reading matter fastened or folded together, which are not necessarily bound in covers. They usually contain advertising material in the form of text or illustrations.

Pamphlets are similar, but are usually comprised of material of a political, social or intellectual nature.

Single sheet brochures and "Wallet" type brochures designed with a flap may be zero-rated provided they:

  • convey information, and
  • contain a substantial amount of text, with some indication of contents or of the issuing organisation, and
  • are not primarily designed to hold other items, and
  • are supplied complete.

3.3 Leaflets

These are also not defined in law and again whether a particular product qualifies as a leaflet is a matter of fact and impression. Leaflets normally:

  • consist of a single sheet of paper not greater than international standard A4 in size (larger publications up to A2 size can be zero-rated provided that they are printed on both sides, folded down to A4 size or smaller and meet the other conditions)
  • are intended to be held in the hand for reading by individuals (rather than for hanging up for general display)
  • convey information
  • are complete (and not a part work)
  • are supplied in sufficient quantity (at least 50 copies) to permit general distribution
  • are printed on limp paper, and
  • will either be of an ephemeral nature (designed to be read a few times and then thrown away) or be designed to accompany some other product or service, for example an instruction leaflet.

Items printed on stiff paper and card are not automatically excluded from the definition of leaflets. However we do regard the use of stiff paper and card as an indicator that the items have a function which would exclude them.

For example if the item’s main function were designed to be kept or used for a specific purpose in its own right, rather than as ancillary to another supply, it would not be a leaflet. Examples of items that would not be leaflets would be those designed to be used for any of the following:

  • as a calendar
  • to obtain admission to premises
  • to obtain a discount on goods or services
  • as reference material, or
  • for completion or return (see paragraph 3.4).

We consider that items printed on laminated paper are designed to be kept and therefore not leaflets. On the other hand, orders of service are not normally designed to be kept and may be zero-rated.

3.4 Items with areas for completion

Items which might otherwise be considered to be leaflets, brochures and pamphlets may not be zero-rated if they are primarily intended for completion or detachment. This distinguishes brochures, pamphlets and leaflets from standard-rated forms.

We accept that items are not primarily intended for completion or detachment if 25% or less of their total area consists of:

  • areas which are blank and available for completion, or
  • parts to be detached and returned.

Where there is both an area for completion and a part to be detached and returned, then the two together must not exceed 25% of the total area of the publication.

Whatever the area for completion, a publication which is designed to be returned whole after completion is always standard-rated.

3.5 Newspapers

Newspapers are issued at least once a week in a continuous series under the same title. Each issue is usually dated and/or serially numbered. They usually consist of several large sheets folded rather than bound together, and contain information about current events of local, national or international interest.

Publications which do not contain a substantial amount of news are not newspapers.

Many newspapers also carry items such as readers’ letters, sports news, the weather forecast, crosswords and features (including feature supplements) on fashion, gardening, etc., or more specialised topics.

3.6 Journals and periodicals

These are magazines issued in a series at regular intervals, more frequently than once a year, either in newspaper format or as paper-bound publications. They may contain information of a specialised nature (for example legal, medical, financial, commercial, fashion or sporting) or be of more general interest. They are normally a mixture of articles and stories with the content changed for each edition. Although they consist essentially of reading matter, they may also consist mainly of illustrations or advertising matter.

‘Poster-magazines’, which have some textual material on one side and a related picture capable of being used as a poster on the other side and which are folded into a magazine format are zero-rated as periodicals, provided they are issued at regular intervals.

Publications whose main purpose is to promote your own products or services are not journals or periodicals, even if they are published regularly. If you supply such publications, you can still zero-rate them if they fall within one of the zero-rated categories, such as brochures.

3.7 Children’s picture books

These are zero-rated, whether they are printed on paper, plastic or textiles, such as children’s rag books, unless the article is essentially a toy. Examples of articles which are standard-rated as toys include:

  • books consisting wholly or mainly of pictures of models for cutting out - but books with printed text directly related to the material for cutting out covering at least 25% of the pages can be zero-rated. (Pages of assembly instructions should not be included as printed text for the purpose of determining eligibility for zero-rating), and
  • items where the "pages" are boards for games.

3.8 Children’s painting books

Supplies of the following are zero-rated:

  • children’s painting and drawing books with sample pictures for copying, or outlines of pictures for colouring, painting or drawing
  • similar books with ‘invisible’ outlines to colour which can be made visible by rubbing with a pencil or applying water with a paint brush
  • painting books in which the small amounts of water colour required for colouring are contained in the book (for example, in the form of a palette), and
  • activity books which combine pages of colouring with pages of puzzles, quizzes and the like.

3.9 Music

Printed, duplicated or manuscript music of all kinds is zero-rated. It may be:

  • instrumental or vocal
  • printed or hand-written
  • bound or on loose sheets
  • illustrated or not, or
  • in any system of notation, including numerical symbols or Braille.

Music rolls and blank music manuscript are standard-rated.

A piece of music commissioned from a composer is standard-rated (see paragraph 7.2).

3.10 Maps, charts and topographical plans

Supplies of all printed maps and charts designed to represent the natural or artificial features of countries, towns, seas, the heavens, etc are zero-rated. They can be printed on paper or other material (such as cloth) and in the form of single or folded sheets or a collection of such sheets bound together in book form (for example, an atlas).

But supplies of any of these are standard-rated:

  • plans or drawings for industrial, architectural, engineering, commercial or similar purposes, in any format
  • framed maps whose primary purpose is decorative
  • posters
  • pictorial wall charts
  • aerial photographs
  • globes, three dimensional models and similar articles, or
  • decorative maps printed or woven into textile articles such as scarves, handkerchiefs, tea-towels, tapestries, rugs.

4. Items not included within any of the Group 3 items

4.1 Posters

Sheets intended for public display are standard-rated. For ‘Poster-magazines’, see paragraph 3.6.

4.2 Stationery

Stationery items such as account books and exercise books are standard-rated. Some items which are standard-rated stationery when new and unused can be zero-rated if sold after they have been completed, provided that they then have the physical characteristics of a book or other zero-rated item. Examples are completed diaries or ships’ logs, but not completed stamp albums.

4.3 Letters

Individual manuscript or typed letters are standard-rated, as are collections of such letters if they are unbound or loosely bound. Permanently bound collections of letters are zero-rated.

If a ‘stock’ or basic letter is supplied with an individual name or address of the recipient added (by whatever means) that supply is standard-rated. Uncompleted ‘stock’ or basic letters may qualify as leaflets (paragraph 3.3), if the portion for completion consists of no more than the recipient’s name and address, a reference number and a signature.

4.4 Incomplete publications

Parts of books, unbound pages and separate illustrations are standard-rated.

By concession, the following are zero-rated:

  • Part work publications designed to build up into a zero-rated book. Once a complete book has been supplied, amendments to it may also be zero-rated.
  • Card based continuity series publications, even though not bound, but stored in their container will for, VAT purposes, be treated as a book.

See Notice 48 Extra-Statutory Concessions.

4.5 Photocopies

Photocopies of zero-rated items are always standard-rated unless the copies can be properly described as books, booklets, brochures, pamphlets, leaflets etc, and meet all the criteria for such items in the relevant preceding paragraphs. A bundle of photocopies would not constitute a book unless it included copies of all the pages of a book and was in a permanent binding. Photocopies of parts of books, extracts from periodicals etc cannot be zero-rated unless they are complete in themselves and have the characteristics of zero-rated items.

If you provide ‘instant’ photocopying or duplicating services and you cannot determine the VAT liability of the copies which you supply, you should charge and account for VAT at the standard rate.

4.6 Supplies to charities

Certain printed items that are not within the group 3 zero-rating and are therefore usually standard-rated, may be zero-rated when supplied to charities for use in connection with collecting monetary donations. For details see Notice 701/58 Charity advertising and goods connected with collecting donations.

5. Related supplies

5.1 Incidental articles supplied with zero-rated items

Minor accessories for example dust covers, clasps, book marks, slip cases and presentation cases, supplied with any zero-rated items, are usually regarded as forming part of the zero-rated item (but see section 6).

5.2 Binders and folders

Ring-binders and similar binders supplied on their own are zero-rated if they are designed to contain a loose-leaf book, provided the exact title of that book is printed on the outside. A company name alone is not enough for zero-rating. A binder supplied with loose-leaf pages to make a book is treated as part of the zero-rated supply whether titled or not. All other binders or files for general or office use are standard-rated. This includes binders for part works, journals or periodicals (whether specifically titled or not).

Most folders and wallets are standard-rated but if they convey information themselves they may qualify as brochures (see paragraph 3.2).

5.3 Loans, hire and shares

If you lend or hire out an article which is zero-rated under the rules explained in this notice, or sell a share or part interest in such an article, your supply is always zero-rated.

Libraries which charge for the loan of books will therefore be making zero-rated supplies. This will also apply to reference libraries which charge for the use of their books on their own premises.

Please note that libraries which charge for use of a number of different facilities must consider section 6.

Note: This is the effect of note (b) to group 3 of schedule 8 and paragraph 1(1) of Schedule 4 of the Value Added Tax Act 1994.

5.4 Book tokens

If you…


then…


  • print book tokens for someone

your supply is standard-rated


  • sell a book token to the general public for its face value or less

no VAT is due


  • sell a book token to the general public for more than its face value

you must account for VAT on the difference between your selling price and its face value


  • make a separate charge for a greetings card

that charge is standard-rated


Further guidance is in Notice 700/7 Business promotion scheme.

5.5 Small order surcharges

If you impose a surcharge for handling a small order, which increases the unit price of the goods, it is part of the price of the goods and is zero-rated if the goods are zero-rated.

5.6 Postage packing and delivery charges

Guidance is given in Notice 700/24 Postage and delivery charges.

5.7 Subsidy or vanity publishing

Subsidy or vanity publishing occurs when an author who is unable to have work published pays a publisher to do so. If the publisher produces books which are all delivered to the author, the payment by the author is a consideration for a supply of books and is zero-rated.

If the bulk of the books remain with the publisher, payment by the author is partly for the supply of books (zero-rated) and partly for publishing services (standard-rated).

Agreement has been reached with the British Printing Industries Federation in calculating the value of such supplies which can be seen in Notice 700/57 VAT: Administrative agreements entered into with trade bodies.

6. Single and multiple supplies

6.1 Transactions with more than one element

When you supply the same person at the same time with a number of different goods or services or both, a transaction with more than one element occurs. You may, or may not, charge a single inclusive price for the transaction.

If the individual elements are all liable to VAT at the same rate, you can calculate the tax that is due in the normal way. If the individual elements are not liable to VAT at the same rate, you have to decide whether you are making a single supply or a multiple supply.

There are exceptions to the normal rule:

  • for packages consisting entirely of items printed on paper or card - see paragraphs 6.5 and 6.6.
  • for certain cover mounted items on magazines - see paragraph 6.7.

6.2 Distinguishing between single and multiple supplies

When you supply books or magazines etc packaged with another item, you must determine whether they constitute single or multiple supplies, in line with the principles established in the European Court of Justice judgment in Card Protection Plan (CPP).

You make a single supply when one element of the supply is the principal element to which all the other elements are ancillary, integral or incidental. An ancillary element does not constitute, for the customer, an aim in itself, but is a means of better enjoying the principal service (or good) supplied. Integral elements are elements that are essential, necessary or incidental to the main supply. An incidental element is something that naturally accompanies the main supply, such as packaging.

General indicators of a single supply, (although they are not conclusive), are:

  • Single price.
  • Advertised as a package.
  • Components not available separately.
  • Goods physically packaged together.
  • Customer perceives that what they are getting is a single supply not a package (for example, a tailor made suit not cloth and tailoring services).

You make a multiple supply if one or more element is distinct and independent. The following points may indicate that more than one supply is taking place:

  • Separate pricing/invoicing.
  • Items available separately.
  • Time differential between parts of the supply.
  • Elements of the supply are not inter-dependent/connected.

6.3 The three possible liability outcomes

There are three possible liability outcomes if zero-rated printed matter is supplied with other items:

  • The standard-rated item may be ancillary to, or an integral part of, the supply of zero-rated printed matter. The resulting supply is a single, zero-rated supply. (However, covers, cases and similar articles not separately accounted for are already zero-rated under Item 6 of Group 3, Schedule 8 of the VAT Act 1994.)
  • The zero-rated printed matter may be ancillary to, or an integral part of, the supply of the standard-rated item. For example, an instruction booklet provided with a new washing machine. The resulting supply is a single, standard-rated supply.
  • There may be a multiple supply, where two or more items are distinct and independent. If the items are sold for a single price and are liable to different rates of VAT you must make an apportionment, (see VAT Notice 700).

6.4 Common examples and problem areas

Sometimes it is easy to identify a multiple supply, as items supplied together can be used independently of each other. Common examples are books issued with films or tapes and children’s colouring books issued with felt-tip pens. It is quite possible to use the film or tape independently of the book and, indeed, they need separate equipment to use them. Similarly, a child can use a felt-tip pen on any paper of his/her choice - it is sold with a colouring book as a marketing device.

One particular area that causes problems is children’s activity packs. These may contain zero-rated books or booklets and standard-rated items such as jigsaw puzzles or toys. You need to decide whether the omission of any one component part would diminish the pack as a whole. It is not possible to give overall guidelines on these activity packs as each one is different, and must be judged on its own merits.

6.5 Packages consisting entirely of items printed on paper or card (“The package test”)

Where you make a multiple supply of a package consisting entirely of items printed on paper or card, you have a choice. You can account for VAT by apportionment between the standard-rated and zero-rated elements or you can apply the package test.

For this purpose, a package is a collection of items printed on paper or card usually enclosed in some sort of wrapper. The articles must physically form a package and have a common link in that they are intended to be used together, examples are:

  • Packages contained in an outer polythene or paper envelope, for example, a package sent to a shareholder which includes company reports, circulars, a proxy voting form and a reply-paid envelope.
  • Cardboard folders with pockets into which are inserted a variety of forms, leaflets, etc.
  • Advertising packages often from financial institutions.

The package test may reduce your tax burden and be simpler than the apportionment described above. It operates as follows:

  • if the package contains more zero-rated than standard-rated items, the package as a whole can be zero-rated
  • if there are more standard-rated items, the package as a whole is standard-rated, and
  • where there are equal numbers of zero-rated and standard-rated items, the liability of the package is decided by the costs of the goods. If the zero-rated elements of the package cost more, the whole package is zero-rated and vice versa.

In the unlikely event that the standard and zero-rated elements cost exactly the same amount, apportionment should be applied.

Note:

(a) The outer envelope in which the package items are enclosed is not taken into account in the count, but a reply-paid envelope counts as a standard-rated item.

(b) If any item in the package is not printed on paper or card the package test cannot be applied.

6.6 The package test for charities

If you supply a package to a charity you can treat some items connected with collecting monetary donations as zero-rated for the purposes of the package test. The items must meet the criteria set out in Notice 701/58 Charity advertising and goods connected with collecting donations.

Item...


Treatment for the package test...


Letter appealing for donations


Zero-rated


Printed envelopes for use with appeal letters


Zero-rated


Money collecting envelopes


Zero-rated


Stickers


Standard-rated for the package test


Money collecting boxes made of card


Zero-rated


Any item not made of paper or card


Package test cannot be used


6.7 Promotional items in magazines

If you link a cover-mounted item such as a sachet of perfume or a CD to a magazine, you can treat it as zero-rated if the following conditions are met:

  • you do not make a separate charge for it, and
  • issues with cover mounted items are sold at the same price as those that do not, and
  • the cost to you of the cover mounted item or items included in any individual issue does not exceed:
    - 20% of the total cost to you of the combined supply (excluding VAT), and
    - £1 (excluding VAT).

This linking of goods is normally done by the publisher, but can take place at any point in the distribution chain (for example, distributor, retailer).

If at the point of linkage the supply satisfies the terms of this concession, it becomes a single zero-rated supply and will continue to be a single supply throughout the chain.

If the supply does not satisfy the terms of the concession, you will have to consider whether the supply is a single or multiple supply under the normal rules explained above.

6.8 Where can I find further information about this?

In VAT Information Sheet 2/01 (July 2001) - "Single or Multiple Supplies - How to Decide".

7. Production of zero-rated goods

7.1 Nature of the service

Some contracts to supply services involve, to a greater or lesser extent, the production of goods zero-rated under group 3. If you supply such services, you should first consider whether the supply is of:

(a) an original or specialist nature, or

(b) the production of goods (which will be more likely if you work in the printing industry).

If…


then…


your services are of an original or specialist nature (see paragraph 7.2)


they are always standard-rated, as any goods produced are incidental to your services


your service is of the production of goods


it will be zero-rated where·


  • your service has produced new goods and

those goods are themselves zero-rated (see paragraph 7.3)


7.2 When do you supply services of an original or specialist nature?

When you supply a service such as:

  • original writing or composition
  • those involving a specialism such as translation, typing, shorthand transcription or transcription of musical scores,

such services are standard-rated. When you also supply goods with those services as incidental products then you must standard-rate those goods even if they are zero-rated under group 3. Here are some examples:

  • a manuscript of a book supplied by an author
  • a piece of music commissioned from a composer
  • a report commissioned from a consultant, analyst or adviser
  • a translation
  • a shorthand transcription
  • a typed manuscript, and
  • a musical score

However, you may zero-rate any extra copies of such items provided:

  • they are in a format which qualifies for zero- rating, and
  • they are supplied at a price which covers only the cost of producing the extra copies and a reasonable mark-up.

7.3 When is your service that of the production of new zero-rated goods?

New goods are produced when the essential characteristics of the goods are altered. Note in particular in the following situations.

7.3.1 Preparatory or post-production work

Where you have a contract to supply items that qualify for zero-rating, you may zero-rate any preparatory or post-production work (other than alterations) that you perform in conjunction with it. This applies whether or not you itemise the various processes on your tax invoice and charge for them separately, and even if you have employed sub-contractors.

7.3.2 Sub-contract work

As a sub-contractor you can only zero-rate work if you produce new zero-rated goods. If you do not produce zero-rated goods yourself, you cannot zero-rate your supply even if you know that the final product will be zero-rated. Therefore, if you provide typesetting only, your charge must be standard-rated. However, if you bind pages together to make a book (with cover) you are producing a zero-rated item and your supply can be zero-rated.

There will be occasions when a sub-contractor will need to charge VAT for a contribution to the production process, although the main printer may zero rate the supply to the final customer.

7.3.3 Work on other people’s goods

If you apply a treatment or process to someone else’s goods which produces new goods, the liability of your service follows that of the goods produced. If these new goods would qualify for zero-rating, then you have provided a zero-rated service. Any other service you provide is standard-rated including post-production alterations.

For example, if you bind loose papers into a book, your service is zero-rated but if you re-cover or otherwise repair an old volume your services are standard-rated.

8. Liability of some common items

In the list below we give our views of the liability of items which are commonly the subject of queries about the zero-rating for books, etc.

However, you should not assume that an article is zero-rated under group 3 just because it is not shown as standard-rated in the list, or determine liability by referring only to this list. You must satisfy yourself by reference to the general body of guidance in this notice that the product qualifies for zero-rating under one of the items of Group 3 (reproduced at paragraph 1.3).

Item


Liability


Acceptance cards


Standard-rated


Account Books


Standard-rated


Accounts (fully printed)


Zero-rated


Address books


Standard-rated


Advertising leaflets


Zero-rated


Agendas (fully printed)


Zero-rated


Albums


Standard-rated


Almanacs


Zero-rated


Amendment slips


Standard-rated


Amendments (loose-leaf)


Zero-rated


Announcement cards


Standard-rated


Annuals


Zero-rated


Antique books


Zero-rated


Antique maps


Zero-rated


Appointment cards


Standard-rated


Articles of association (complete in booklet form)


Zero-rated


Astronomical charts


Zero-rated


Atlases


Zero-rated


Autograph albums (uncompleted)


Standard-rated


Autograph books (completed)


Zero-rated


Badges


Standard-rated


Bags, paper


Standard-rated


Ballot papers


Standard-rated


Bankers’ drafts


Standard-rated


Bibliographies


Zero-rated


Billheads


Standard-rated


Bills of lading


Standard-rated


Bills of quantity (blank)


Standard-rated


Bills of quantity (completed)


Zero-rated


Binders


Standard-rated (but see paragraph 5.2)


Bingo cards


Standard-rated


Biorhythm charts


Standard-rated


Blotters


Standard-rated


Book covers


Standard-rated


Book marks


Standard-rated


Book tokens


Standard-rated


Booklets


Zero-rated


Bookmakers’ tickets


Standard-rated


Books


Zero-rated


Brochures


Zero-rated


Bulletins


Zero-rated


Business cards


Standard-rated


Calendars


Standard-rated


Catalogues


Zero-rated


Certificates


Standard-rated


Charts (geographical or topographical)


Zero-rated


Cheques and cheque books


Standard-rated


Cigarette cards


Standard-rated


Circulars


Zero-rated


Cloakroom tickets


Standard-rated


Colour cards


Standard-rated


Colouring books (children’s)


Zero-rated


Comics


Zero-rated


Company accounts and reports


Zero-rated


Compliment slips


Standard-rated


Copy books


Standard-rated


Correspondence cards


Standard-rated


Coupon books


Standard-rated


Coupons


Standard-rated


Credit cards


Standard-rated


Crossword books


Zero-rated


Delivery notes


Standard-rated


Diaries (completed)


Zero-rated


Diaries (unused)


Standard-rated


Dictionaries


Zero-rated


Directories (completed)


Zero-rated


Dividend warrants


Standard-rated


Dressmaking patterns


Standard-rated


Election addresses


Zero-rated


Encyclopaedias


Zero-rated


Engineers’ plans


Standard-rated


Envelopes


Standard-rated


Exercise books


Standard-rated


Fashion drawings


Standard-rated


Flash cards


Standard-rated


Folders


Standard-rated


Football pool coupons


Standard-rated


Football programmes


Zero-rated


Form letters


Standard-rated (but see paragraph 4.3)


Forms


Standard-rated


Framed decorative maps


Standard-rated


Games


Standard-rated


Geological maps


Zero-rated


Globes


Standard-rated


Graph paper


Standard-rated


Greetings cards


Standard-rated


Handbills


Zero-rated


Holiday and tourist guides


Zero-rated


Hydrographical charts


Zero-rated


Hymn books


Zero-rated


Index cards


Standard-rated


Inlay cards for cassette, CD or video


Standard-rated


Instruction manuals


Zero-rated


Insurance cover notes


Standard-rated


Invitation cards


Standard-rated


Invoices


Standard-rated


Journals


Zero-rated


Labels


Standard-rated


Leaflets


Zero-rated


Letter headings


Standard-rated


Letters (handwritten)


Standard-rated


Log books (blank)


Standard-rated


Loose leaf books


Zero-rated


Lottery tickets and cards


Standard-rated


Magazines


Zero-rated


Mail order catalogues


Zero-rated


Manuals


Zero-rated


Manuscript paper


Standard-rated


Manuscripts


Standard-rated


Maps


Zero-rated


Medical records


Standard-rated


Membership cards


Standard-rated


Memo pads


Standard-rated


Memoranda of association (completed in booklet form)


Zero-rated


Memorial cards


Standard-rated


Menu cards


Standard-rated


Microfiche


Standard-rated


Microfilm


Standard-rated


Microform copies


Standard-rated


Missals


Zero-rated


Monographs


Zero-rated


Music


Zero-rated


Music rolls


Standard-rated


Music scores


Zero-rated


Newspapers


Zero-rated


Note books, pads and paper


Standard-rated


Order books and forms


Standard-rated


Orders of Service


Zero-rated


Painting books (children’s)


Zero-rated


Pamphlets


Zero-rated


Paper, unprinted


Standard-rated


Parts of books (see paragraph 4.4)


Standard-rated


Pattern cards


Standard-rated


Periodicals


Zero-rated


Photograph albums


Standard-rated


Photographs


Standard-rated


Picture books


Zero-rated


Plans


Standard-rated (but see paragraph 3.10)


Playing cards


Standard-rated


Poll cards


Standard-rated


Pools coupons


Standard-rated


Postcards (whether completed or not)


Standard-rated


Poster magazines (see paragraph 3.6)


Zero-rated


Posters


Standard-rated


Prayer books


Zero-rated


Price cards and tags


Standard-rated


Price lists (fully printed leaflets or brochures)


Zero-rated


Printed pictures


Standard-rated


Programmes


Zero-rated


Questionnaires


Standard-rated


Rag books (children’s)


Zero-rated


Receipt books and forms


Standard-rated


Recipe books


Zero-rated


Record books


Standard-rated


Record labels


Standard-rated


Record sleeves


Standard-rated


Registers


Standard-rated


Rent books


Standard-rated


Reply-paid coupons and envelopes


Standard-rated


Reproductions of paintings


Standard-rated


Road maps


Zero-rated


Score cards


Standard-rated


Scrap books (blank)


Standard-rated


Scrap books (completed)


Zero-rated


Scrolls (hand-written)


Standard-rated


Seals


Standard-rated


Shade cards (unless they contain substantial printed text)


Standard-rated


Share certificates


Standard-rated


Ships’ logs (completed)


Zero-rated


Sports programmes


Zero-rated


Staff journals


Zero-rated


Stamp albums (whether completed or not)


Standard-rated


Stationery


Standard-rated


Stationery books


Standard-rated


Stickers


Standard-rated


Swatch books


Standard-rated


Swatch cards


Standard-rated


Sweepstake tickets


Standard-rated


Tags


Standard-rated


Temperature charts


Standard-rated


Text books


Zero-rated


Theses


Zero-rated


Tickets


Standard-rated


Time cards and sheets


Standard-rated


Timetables (in book or leaflet form)


Zero-rated


Tokens


Standard-rated (but see paragraph 5.4)


Topographical plans


Zero-rated


Toys


Standard-rated


Tracts


Zero-rated


Trade catalogues


Zero-rated


Trade directories


Zero-rated


Transcripts


Standard-rated


Transfers


Standard-rated


Transparencies


Standard-rated


Travel brochures


Zero-rated


Visiting cards


Standard-rated


Vouchers


Standard-rated


Wall charts


Standard-rated


Waste paper


Standard-rated


Wills


Standard-rated


Winding cards


Standard-rated


Wrapping paper


Standard-rated


Wreath cards


Standard-rated


Your rights and obligations

Your Charter explains what you can expect from us and what we can expect from you. For more information go to Your Charter.

Do you have any comments or suggestions?

If you have any comments or suggestions to make about this notice, please write to:

HM Revenue & Customs
VAT Liability Team
VAT Directorate
100 Parliament Street
London
SW1A 2BQ

Please note this address is not for general enquiries.

For your general enquiries please phone our Helpline 0845 010 9000.

Putting things right

If you are unhappy with our service, please contact the person or office you have been dealing with. They will try to put things right. If you are still unhappy, they will tell you how to complain.

If you want to know more about making a complaint go to hmrc.gov.uk and under quick links, select Complaints.

How we use your information

HM Revenue & Customs is a Data Controller under the Data Protection Act 1998. We hold information for the purposes specified in our notification to the Information Commissioner, including the assessment and collection of tax and duties, the payment of benefits and the prevention and detection of crime, and may use this information for any of them.

We may get information about you from others, or we may give information to them. If we do, it will only be as the law permits to:

  • check the accuracy of information
  • prevent or detect crime
  • protect public funds.

We may check information we receive about you with what is already in our records. This can include information provided by you, as well as by others, such as other government departments or agencies and overseas tax and customs authorities. We will not give information to anyone outside HM Revenue & Customs unless the law permits us to do so. For more information go to hmrc.gov.uk and look for Data Protection Act within the Search facility.

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$START-DATA$ title=Zero-rating of books etc^ summary=VAT Notice 701/10: This Notice explains the nature of, and circumstances for zero-rating books.^ doctype=PublicNotice^ date=13-Dec-2011^ author=MG6030886^ $END-DATA$
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