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Printing and VAT
Printing and VAT
12/07/2016 0

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We have been trading since 2007 and pride ourselves in supplying excellent quality of printing products at extremely competitive prices. We are proud to supply our local community of Staffordshire but also supply all of our products throughout the UK.

These products on our website are just a snapshot of our most poular products, therefore if you can't find what you are looking for then simply fill in the quote form or call us on 01538 723820 and we will quote to your requirements.

Printing and VAT

Posted by admin 12/07/2016 0 Comment(s) VAT,

Printing and VAT: Which printed products do you have to pay VAT on??

One of the most asked questions and also one of the most confusing is VAT on printed products. VAT does apply to some printed products but not all of them. This blog will hopefully help you to understand how VAT is charged and which products have VAT applied to them. Unfortunately it doesnt matter if you are a business or a consumer, VAT registered or not, if a printed item is VAT applicable then we are required to charge the VAT.

So what do we know about VAT?

  • Setup in 1973 as a result of Britain entering the European Economic Community
  • From a low point of 8% in June 1974, VAT in the UK has risen to 20% at the time of posting this (2016)
  • VAT is the third largest source of government revenue
  • Fundamentally, VAT is a tax on consumer expenditure, i.e. it is a tax on the supply of goods and services
  • VAT is charged when a VAT-registered business sells to another business or a non-business customer
  • There are different bands of VAT - 20% (Standard VAT), 5% (Reduced VAT) and 0% (Zero VAT Rated). When it comes to printing, we are only concerned with 20% and 0% VAT

Obviously, that is all very boring. But, if you’re interested in buying print, it is really import to know what printed products are VATable and which are Zero Rated, as obviously this affects how much you will be paying. One of the easiest ways to think of it is if your are ment to write on the product or its a business card then you will be paying VAT.

Generally speaking, leaflets, flyers and booklets are not subject to VAT, whereas other printed items are.
There are exceptions when a leaflet, flyer or booklet can become vatable, this generally happens if they contain a discount coupon, a form to be filled in or a calendar. We will always advise our customer if we think your design you have submitted is to be vatable and if this is the case, this will need to be paid before we continue with the printing.

More information on this can be found at the HMRC website

Of course if you own a VAT-registered business and you are orderig printed item(s) for your business, then the VAT element can be claimed back.


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

You should be aware that leaflets are a special case and there are some conditions that must be fulfilled in order for the product to be Zaro Rated. Firstly, there must be a significant amount of text on at least one side of the leaflet. This is to ensure that the product is being printed for hand-held reading purposes, as opposed to wall mounting/hanging. Secondly, the leaflet must be printed no large than an A4 piece of paper. Thirdly, the leaflet must be a single, self-contained item and not part of a larger package. Finally, the leaflet must not be printed on paper heavier than 250gsm. With alls these conditions met, a printed leaflet carries a zero VAT rating.


  • 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
Tags: VAT Printing