Updated VAT Notice 701/10 - Zero-rating of books etc.

The notice is effective now and replaces the earlier notice from October 2010. It seeks to provide guidance on how HMRC interprets The Value Added Tax Act 1994, section 30 and Schedule 8 Group 3 which sets out where zero-rating may apply by explaining the nature and the circumstances when you can zero-rate books and other forms of printed matter.  Schedule 8, Group 3 lists the type of books and printed material where zero-rating may apply:

Group 3 - Books, etc.

Item No.

  1. Books, booklets, brochures, pamphlets and leaflets.
  2. Newspapers, journals and periodicals.
  3. Children's picture books and painting books.
  4. Music (printed, duplicated or manuscript).
  5. Maps, charts and topographical plans.
  6. Covers, cases and other articles supplied with items 1 to 5 and not separately accounted for.

The guidance explains each of the areas, considers supplies to charities and looks at mixed supplies and multiple supplies, including where the supply includes services. It also lists liability of items which are commonly the subject of queries received by HMRC about the zero-rating for books and other printed material.


For example:

Item Liability
Maps Zero-rated
Medical Records Standard-rated
Membership Cards Standard-rated
Memo Pads Standard-rated
Memoranda of Association (complete in book form)