RCB/1/20 VAT liability of digital publications – Upper Tribunal in News Corp and Ireland Ltd
Revenue & Customs Brief, Issue 1. 19 February 2020
Purpose of this brief
This brief confirms that HMRC's VAT treatment of supplies of digital newspapers and other digital publications has not changed following the Upper Tribunal decision in News Corp UK and Ireland Ltd (UT/2018/0065) ('News Corp'). It also explains how organisations can submit claims for overpaid VAT and protect their position if they want to.
Who needs to read this
Organisations that make supplies of digital publications and their advisers.
Supplies of newspapers are zero rated under UK legislation (the relevant provision is VATA 1994, Sch 8, Group 3, Item2 ). This legislation has been in place since VAT was introduced into the UK in 1973.
HMRC's policy is that the zero rate only applies to the sale of printed matter (that is, supplies of goods). Therefore, the sale of digital newspapers (which are services) has