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Vat and Print Pricing Demystified

Some printed products include VAT charges, whereas others don’t. This week, we want to make the process more understanding and clear up which products are exempt and which aren’t.

VAT is a result of Britain entering the European Economic Community in 1973. It is typically defined as a tax on consumer expenditure, i.e. it is a tax on the supply of goods and services. Although there are various bands of VAT, but when we refer to VAT in printing, we are only concerned with 20% and 0% VAT.

Zero Rated Print Services and Products:

All of the products below come with a zero VAT rate attached.

  • Books
  • Booklets
  • Brochures
  • Catalogues
  • Directories
  • Flyers / Leaflets (to be distributed by hand)
  • Journals
  • Magazines
  • Manuals
  • Maps
  • Sheet Music
  • Newsletters
  • Newspapers
  • Pamphlets
  • Price lists (without an order form)
  • Timetables

Flyers / Leaflets can have special conditions attached to them, including that they must have a significant amount of text on at least one side, to ensure that the product to is being produced for hand held purposes, rather than being mounted or hung on a wall. It also must be no larger than A4 size and should be a single, self-contained item, not part of a larger package. Finally, the paper it is printed on cannot be heavier than 230gsm.

Once all of these conditions are met, a printed flyer / leaflet carries a zero VAT rating.

VAT rated Print Products and Services, charged at 20%:

  • Acceptance cards
  • Business cards
  • Calendars
  • Certificates
  • Compliment slips
  • Coupons
  • Delivery notes
  • Diaries, envelopes
  • Folders
  • Forms
  • Invitations
  • Invoices
  • Labels
  • Letterheads
  • Postcards
  • Posters
  • Questionnaires
  • Stationery
  • Stickers
  • Tickets
  • Transparencies

Other VATable services include:

Various services that you may get from a printing or design agency, such as Northern Print Solutions, can be charged at a 20% VAT rate, include:

  • Binding
  • Design work
  • Duplication of photographs
  • Lamination
  • Photocopying
  • Photography
  • Scanning

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