Zero-rating VAT for e-publications effective today – 1 May 2020

May 1st, 2020     Tax News

The government has brought forward legislation to zero rate electronic publications in a move to make them more affordable for people confined to their homes or affected financially by coronavirus. Zero-rating was originally due to take effect on 1 December 2020 but now applies from today, 1 May.

Zero-rating applies to the sale of:

• books and booklets

• brochures

• pamphlets

• leaflets

• newspapers

• journals and periodicals

• children’s picture and painting books.


Lending fees for these types of publication are also zero-rated from today.



Zero-rating doesn’t apply to the following types of electronic publication, they remain standard-rated:

• advertising – where more than half the content is advertisements

• audiobooks

• intellectual property such as licences, plans, technical drawings, etc.


Please check more detailed guidance on what can and can’t be zero-rated and how to apply zero-rating if you supply a mix of standard and zero-rated products.

If you have any questions on this, please call Andrew Price on 01803 296678.