RCB/3/21 VAT liability of digital publications – update on litigation in News Corp and Ireland Ltd
Revenue & Customs Brief, Issue 3. 11 March 2021
Purpose of this brief
This brief, which replaces Revenue and Customs Brief 1(2020), gives an update on the VAT treatment of supplies of digital newspapers and other digital publications before 1 May 2020. This follows the Court of Appeal decision in News Corp UK and Ireland Ltd ( EWCA Civ 91). It has no impact on the Government's introduction of a new zero rate for supplies of certain e-publications (including e-newspapers), which came into effect from 1 May 2020.
It also explains how organisations can submit claims for overpaid VAT based on the Upper Tribunal decision (UT/2018/0046) and protect their position until the litigation in this case has concluded, 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, Item 2). This legislation has been in place since VAT was introduced into the UK in 1973.
Before the introduction of a new zero rate for supplies of certain e-publications on 1 May 2020,