VAT and Print

Posted on 2nd May 2015 at 12:10 pm

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Understanding VAT can be complex at the best of times, but when it comes to printed products it can be an absolute minefield…

At LBD Creative we can advise our customers on the VAT status of their print. You will find that, depending on the specifications of a print job, and certain HMRC criteria, some print items will be standard-rated for VAT and other items will be zero-rated. Here are some basic guidelines on how you print job may attract VAT.

This is intended as a general guideline for our customers. For official information on VAT and print, please consult an expert or visit HMRC.

Leaflets, flyers and booklets

In general, leaflets, flyers and booklets are zero-rated. However, there are specifications which will cause these products to be standard-rated. An item will become standard-rated for VAT if:

• it offers a discount, special entry, or free purchase
• it has a form area to be completed that takes up more than 25% of the surface area
• it is printed on thick stock, or laminated, to increase the lifespan of the product
• it is intended to be used for something more than a leaflet, i.e. a calendar

VAT status of common items

Here is a list of some common items and their VAT status.

Standard-rated 20% VAT
Albums
Badges
Bags
Ballot papers
Binders
Book marks
Business cards
Calendars
CD Labels
Certificates
Compliment slips
Envelopes
Folders
Forms
Greetings cards
Instruction manuals
Invitations
Labels
Letter headed paper
Note pads
Photographs
Post cards
Menus
Posters
Price tags
Questionnaires
Stationery
Stickers
Wall charts
Zero-rated VAT
Annuals
Bibliographies
Booklets
Books
Brochures
Catalogues
Company accounts/reports
Journals
Magazines
Maps
Music
Newspapers
Order of service
Pamphlets
Periodicals
Programmes
Recipe books
Text books
Tickets
Trade directories