How does VAT apply to Printed matter?

Most printed items attract the standard rate of vat. However there are some items which are zero rated for VAT purposes. These include most leaflets, flyers, books and booklets. The most contentious items are leaflets and flyers; and interpreting HMRC’s definition of what a leaflet is. For the purposes of VAT a leaflet must be of an ephermerel nature and printed on a limp paper. In practice that means that the leaflet is designed to be read a couple of times and then thrown away. We interpret ‘limp paper’ to mean paper stocks of 170 gsm or less.

If the leaflet is designed to be written on it may not qualify for zero rating. If the leaflet offers a discount, or free entry on production of said leaflet then HMRC will classify it as a voucher which will be fully rated. Posters are for display and are therefore also eligible for full rating.