In association with
Save content
Have you found this content useful? Use the button above to save it to your profile.
VAT budget

VAT: Zero rate on digital publications

by

There were no VAT increases in Rishi Sunak’s first Budget, but there were two VAT reductions, and a number of consultations were announced.

12th Mar 2020
In association with
Save content
Have you found this content useful? Use the button above to save it to your profile.

The 2020 Budget produced two reductions in VAT rates:

“Tampon tax”

The VAT rate on women’s sanitary products will be reduced from 5% to zero from 1 January 2021. This is the result of a long campaign and it will apparently save the average woman £40 in her lifetime. It will be interesting to see the boundaries of the zero rating as there are many necessary incontinence products for both men and women which are not zero rated. 

“Reading tax”

The level of VAT give-away here is much larger: supplies of e-books, digital magazines, e-newspapers and academic e-journals will be zero-rated from 1 December 2020 in the same way as printed material. The Chancellor confirmed the start date was based on the fact that it was “just in time for Christmas.”

Digital reading

HMRC suffered a defeat in the Upper Tribunal (UT) about whether e-newspapers supplied by News Corp and Ireland Ltd (UT/2018/0065) qualified for zero-rating in the same way as printed newspapers. The court recognised the doctrine of ‘always speaking’ to recognise the development of a new presentation of a product. There was no such thing as an electronic newspaper when the zero-rate schedule was introduced in 1973, so the legislation should reflect technological changes.

Register for free to continue reading

It’s 100% free and provides unlimited access to the latest accounting news, advice and insight every day. As well as access to this exclusive article, you can:


Content lock down, tick icon

View all AccountingWEB content


Content lock down, tick icon

Comment on articles


Content lock down, tick icon

Watch our digital shows and more

Access content now

Already have an account?
Tags:

Replies (0)

Please login or register to join the discussion.

There are currently no replies, be the first to post a reply.