Commentary

V4.273A Books, brochures, pamphlets and leaflets

Part V4 Exemption, zero-rating and reduced rates

V4.273A Books, brochures, pamphlets and leaflets

V4.273A Books, brochures, pamphlets and leaflets

This paragraph provides an overview of VATA 1994, Sch 8, Group 3, Item 1 which provides for zero-rating of books, booklets, brochures, pamphlets and leaflets.

For an overview of zero-rating in VATA 1994, Sch 8, Group 3, see V4.273 and note, in particular, those supplies which are excluded from VATA 1994, Sch 8, Group 3, Items 1–6.

For VATA 1994, Group 3, Items 2–6, see V4.273B.

Characteristics of books and booklets—books, booklets, brochures, pamphlets and leaflets (zero-rating)

The terms 'books' and 'booklets' are not defined in legislation. HMRC states in Notice 701/10/161 that books and booklets normally consist of text or illustrations, bound in a cover stiffer than their pages. The guidance goes onto provide examples of zero-rated books and goods which do not qualify for zero-rating under the provision.

The necessary minimum characteristics of 'books' and 'booklets' were held in Colour Offset Ltd to be that they have a significant number of leaves, usually of paper, held together front and back by covers which are normally stiffer than the leaves and which are to be read or looked at.

In Magic Memories Group (UK) Ltd, the Tribunal interpreted 'read or looked at' as follows:2.

'We do not consider that May J, when he referred to “things to be read”, intended to limit the words “book” or “booklet” to books filled with words rather than content which was mainly pictorial, as his reference to “or looked at” we think makes clear, but was intending to point out that

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