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Read all about it a bit earlier: zero-rating of e-publications brought forward

We reported in January on a Tribunal decision to the effect that digital newspapers’ should be zero-rated for VAT.  In the March Budget, the government announced that the law would be changed so as to zero-rate all ‘e-publications’ with effect from 1 December 2020.

It’s now been announced that the zero-rating will be brought forward to 1 May.  According to the announcement, no VAT will be charged on ‘e-books, e-booklets, e-brochures, e-pamphlets, e-leaflets, e-newspapers, e-journals and e-periodicals (including magazines) as well electronic versions of children’s picture and painting books’ (yes: we are struggling with the concept of an electronic painting book, too).  Excluded from zero-rating are e-publications that are wholly or predominantly devoted to advertising or to audio or video content.

Whether this will actually result in a reduction in the price charged for all those e-books that you download from Amazon (other suppliers are available) to alleviate lockdown boredom remains to be seen.  But it ought to.  Every little helps.

For more information, please get in touch with your usual BKL contact or use our enquiry form.

Above all, keep well.

Simon Levine

Senior Adviser, VAT

T +44 (0)20 8922 9146

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