VAT & PRINTING. When is it chargeable and when is it not?

Value Added Tax & Printing. When is it chargeable and when is it not? 

VAT rules relating to Print are a little complex at first glance, although the matter becomes clearer when checked against the HMRC guidelines.

Broadly speaking any printed items which are made to be written on have VAT applied at the standard rate. For example stationery, greetings cards or postcards.

If the items are promotional or information based they will often be zero rated for VAT. Examples of these products would be books, brochures and leaflets & flyers. Although leaflets & flyers are one of the tricky items, as they can under certain conditions move from zero rated to standard rated for VAT.

If a leaflet or flyer is designed to be written on, used to obtain a discount for goods or services or for admission purposes it will become standard rated for VAT.

Based upon the current information from HMRC we have put together a simplified guide version.

As always with VAT, if in doubt it makes sense to check the up to date position on the HMRC website. Or if you have a specific or unusual VAT question relating to your print requirements with Dynamic we will be happy to answer this for you.

Item Liability
Acceptance cards Standard-rated
Account Books Standard-rated
Accounts (fully printed) Zero-rated
Address books Standard-rated
Advertising leaflets Zero-rated
Albums Standard-rated
Announcement cards Standard-rated
Annuals Zero-rated
Appointment cards Standard-rated
Badges Standard-rated
Bags, paper Standard-rated
Ballot papers Standard-rated
Bibliographies Zero-rated
Bingo cards Standard-rated
Blotters Standard-rated
Book covers Standard-rated
Book marks Standard-rated
Book tokens Standard-rated
Booklets Zero-rated
Books Zero-rated
Brochures Zero-rated
Bulletins Zero-rated
Business cards Standard-rated
Calendars Standard-rated
Catalogues Zero-rated
Certificates Standard-rated
Circulars Zero-rated
Cloakroom tickets Standard-rated
Colour cards Standard-rated
Colouring books (children’s) Zero-rated
Comics Zero-rated
Compliment slips Standard-rated
Correspondence cards Standard-rated
Coupons Standard-rated
Crossword books Zero-rated
Delivery notes Standard-rated
Engineers’ plans Standard-rated
Envelopes Standard-rated
Exercise books Standard-rated
Flash cards Standard-rated
Folders Standard-rated
Football programmes Zero-rated
Forms Standard-rated
Games Standard-rated
Greetings cards Standard-rated
Index cards Standard-rated
Instruction manuals Zero-rated
Invitations Standard-rated
Invoices Standard-rated
Journals Zero-rated
Labels Standard-rated
Leaflets Zero-rated
Letter headings 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
Maps Zero-rated
Membership cards Standard-rated
Memo pads Standard-rated
Memorial cards Standard-rated
Menu cards Standard-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
Photograph albums Standard-rated
Photographs Standard-rated
Picture books Zero-rated
Playing cards Standard-rated
Postcards Standard-rated
Poster magazines Zero-rated
Posters Standard-rated
Prayer books Zero-rated
Price cards and tags Standard-rated
Price lists Zero-rated
Printed pictures Standard-rated
Programmes Zero-rated
Questionnaires Standard-rated
Receipt books and forms Standard-rated
Record books Standard-rated
Record labels or sleeves Standard-rated
Registers Standard-rated
Reply-paid coupons and envelopes Standard-rated
Reproductions of paintings Standard-rated
Road maps Zero-rated
Score cards Standard-rated
Sports programmes Zero-rated
Stationery Standard-rated
Stationery books Standard-rated
Stickers Standard-rated
Swatch books Standard-rated
Swatch cards Standard-rated
Tags Standard-rated
Text books Zero-rated
Tickets Standard-rated
Time cards and sheets Standard-rated
Timetables (in book or leaflet form) Zero-rated
Toys Standard-rated
Trade catalogues Zero-rated
Trade directories Zero-rated
Transcripts Standard-rated
Vouchers Standard-rated
Wall charts Standard-rated
Wrapping paper Standard-rated