VAT Good news

The government has brought forward legislation to zero rate electronic publications in a move to make them more affordable for people confined to their homes or affected financially by coronavirus. Zero-rating was originally due to take effect on 1 December 2020 but now applies from today, 1 May. 

Zero-rating applies to the sale of: 

  • books and booklets
  • brochures 
  • pamphlets 
  • leaflets 
  • newspapers 
  • journals and periodicals  
  • children’s picture and painting books. 

Lending fees for these types of publication are also zero-rated from today. 


Zero-rating doesn’t apply to the following types of electronic publication, they remain standard-rated: 

  • advertising –  where more than half the content is advertisements 
  • audiobooks 
  • intellectual property such as licences, plans, technical drawings, etc. 

More detailed guidance on what can and can’t be zero-rated and how to apply zero-rating if you supply a mix of standard and zero-rated products, for example, a magazine and companion website is available here.

What to do next

For further information on this and other topics contact us on 07974-418819 or through the contact page of the website

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