VAT on Printed Products

Although most prices on our website include VAT on printing, it’s important to know which printed products are VATable and which are zero-rated. This table shows which printed matter has standard rated VAT and which products are VAT free. The standard VAT rate is 20%.


Zero-Rated VAT Rated (20% - Standard)
Books Business Cards
Booklets Calendars
Brochures Certificates
Catalogues Compliment Slips
Colouring Books (Children's) Coupons
Comics Delivery Notes
Directories Diaries
Flyers* Envelopes
Journals Exhibition Stands
Magazines Greetings Cards
Manuals Gift Vouchers
Maps Forms
Menus Invitations
Sheet Music Invoices
Newspapers Labels
Orders of Service Laminated Products
Pamphlets Letterheads
Price Lists (Without an Order Form) Manuscripts
Recipes Medical Records
Sports Programmes Order Books or Forms
Timetables Postcards
Travel Brochures Posters
Presentation Folders
Price Cards and Tags
Roller Banners
Table Talkers


*Please note that there are certain criteria regarding VAT on flyers. Leaflets must meet for the product to be zero-rated. There must be a significant amount of text on at least one side of the leaflet to ensure it is being printed as something to be read hand-held, as opposed to posting on a wall. As well as this it must be no larger than A4 and printed on paper no thicker than 230gsm stock.


Are There Any Exceptions?

Some printed products in the zero-rated list may still be applicable for VAT if they have or can be used for any of the following:

1.    Voucher of admissions

VAT on printing is chargeable if your print product is used for admission to an event. For example, using the words ‘free admission with this leaflet’.

2.    Discount usage

VAT is chargeable if your print product is used to obtain a discount on goods or services, for example using the words ‘25% off with this poster’.

3.    Writable area

VAT is chargeable if your printed product has an area designed to be written on. For example, invitations, certificates, postcards or forms. To be charged, this area must cover at least 25% of the artwork.

4.    Writable booklets

All books and booklets are exempt from VAT charges unless they are designed and printed to be written in, like diaries, calendars and record books.  


HMRC has a helpful guide with the full details of the VAT on printing services.


What Happens if I Need to Pay VAT on Printing?

Our website states that VAT included where applicable, this means we have already done the leg work in sorting out which has VAT and which is Zero Rated. If you are after a bespoke product and are using our printing services and purchasing something with us that is included in the exceptions list above, we will check this for you when we come to do our artwork checks. We will then be in contact with you to arrange payment of the VAT.