Printed matter and e-publications ― production services

Produced by Tolley

The following Value Added Tax guidance note Produced by Tolley provides comprehensive and up to date tax information covering:

  • Printed matter and e-publications ― production services
  • What are production services?
  • What is the VAT status of the different production stages?
  • What is the significance of involving subcontractors in the production process?
  • What is the liability of specialist services?
  • Specialist services supplied with goods
  • Production services ― practical points

Printed matter and e-publications ― production services

This guidance note provides an overview of the VAT treatment of services supplied in order to produce printed matter.

For an overview of the VAT status of printed matter and e-publications more broadly, see the Printed matter and e-publications ― overview guidance note.

What are production services?

HMRC splits the print production process into five stages. These are:

  1. preliminary services

  2. preparatory work

  3. production of goods

  4. post-production services

  5. alterations

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What is the VAT status of the different production stages?

The following table provides and summarises HMRC’s understanding of the stages that need to be followed to produce printed items and the VAT treatment applicable to each stage.

StepWork undertakenVAT treatment
Preliminary workThis usually involves the author writing the publication and supplying a manuscript, pamphlet or similar. This could also

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