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What products incur VAT?

Updated: Jun 15, 2022

Every business has outgoings and overheads that they can prepare for, but when it comes to ordering print products, it can be difficult to know in advance which ones incur VAT.


We understand that many projects need to be costed down to the last penny, every i dotted and t crossed, so in this blog, we’re going to take a quick look at which print products come with VAT and which ones are tax-free.


After all, nobody likes nasty surprises, do they?



What is VAT?

VAT, or value added tax, dates all the way back to 1973 and, after income tax and National Insurance, is the UK government’s third biggest source of revenues.


It is applied to a very wide range of goods and services, and there are three rates: standard at 20%, reduced, which is 5%, and zero.


Which print product is a zero rated item?

The government has defined which products are zero rated, and here’s where it can become a bit of a minefield. Let’s break it down a little, so you know what’s what.


Brochures and pamphlets

Brochures and pamphlets usually consist of several sheets fastened or folded together, containing advertising or political material.


Single sheet brochures and ‘wallet’ type brochures designed with a flap may be zero-rated provided they:

  • convey information

  • contain a substantial amount of text, with some indication of contents or of the issuing organisation

  • are not primarily designed to hold other items

  • are supplied complete

Leaflets

The government defines leaflets as normally:

  • consisting of a single sheet of paper no bigger than international standard A4 in size

  • intended to be held in the hand for reading

  • conveying 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

  • will either be designed to be read a few times and then thrown away


Do be aware that if your leaflet features an order form, that does make it liable to VAT, so it’s worth bearing that in mind when designing your products.


Zero rated products

Books

Booklets

Brochures

Catalogues

Directories

Flyers/Leaflets

Journals

Magazines

Manuals

Maps

Newsletters

Newspapers

Pamphlets

Price lists

Sheet Music

Timetables


VATable paper products

Acceptance cards

Banners

Business cards

Calendars

Certificates

Compliment slips

Coupons

Delivery notes

Diaries

Envelopes

Folders

Forms

Invitations

Invoices

Labels

Letterheads

Order Forms

Postcards

Posters

Questionnaires

Roller Banners

Stationery

Stickers

Tickets

Transparencies


Find out more about VAT

You can trawl through the government’s website here if you want to know more about which printed products are rated for VAT, or you can talk to an actual human being at dxp print solutions.


Our friendly and professional customer service team will explain clearly and concisely what VAT costs you can expect to pay for each project, so you know upfront what’s involved. No nasty surprises, remember?


You can email us at info@dxpprint.com, call 01268 732 109, or drop us a line on our contact form.

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