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VAT and supplies of e-publications

Charities will often use publications to inform the public about their work and the area in which they operate, and increasingly in an electronic format rather than physical form. Charities will also try to generate extra funds in this way to fund their charitable activities. Since 1 May 2020 the supply of certain e-publications became zero-rated, mirroring the treatment of more traditional printed supplies of books. HMRC has now updated the guidance provided in VAT Notice 701/10 for this change, confirming that zero-rating will apply unless the e-publication is wholly or predominantly devoted to advertising, audio or video content.

The Notice sets out how to ascertain whether an e-publications qualifies for zero-rating, and charitable organisations that make or receive supplies of e-publications should review this guidance to ensure that VAT is being charged at the correct rate.


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