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This is a common question and one that, on the face of it, cannot be definitively answered.

If you are a VAT registered business you can save yourself a great deal of time by reading no further. It doesn’t matter whether or not you will be charged VAT because, as a VAT registered business, you will claim it back.

The VAT laws for printed matter can be extremely complicated and confusing for people who don’t work in the industry so we have tried to provide a general overview below of some of the more popular items to assist you.

What Products Are VAT Applicable?

  • Announcement Cards
  • Appointment Cards
  • Bookmarks
  • Business Cards
  • Calendars
  • Certificates
  • Compliment Slips
  • Delivery Notes
  • Diaries
  • Envelopes
  • Folders
  • Forms
  • Greetings Cards
  • Inlays for Cassette, CD or Videos
  • Invitation Cards
  • Invoices
  • Letterheads
  • Notebooks, Pads & Paper
  • Order Books & Forms
  • Postcards
  • Questionnaires
  • Reciept Books & Forms
  • Stationery
  • Stickers
  • Swing Tags
  • Tickets
  • Vouchers
  • Wrapping Paper

What Products Are Zero Rated (VAT Free)?

  • Booklets
  • Books
  • Brochures
  • Catalogues
  • Colouring Books (Children’s)
  • Company Accounts & Reports
  • Election Addresses
  • Instruction Manuals
  • Leaflets
  • Magazines
  • Orders of Service
  • Price Lists
  • Programmes
  • Recipe Books
  • Sports Programmes


The list above should only be used as a guide. Certain materials or finishing processes can make your product standard rated for VAT where it was previously zero-rated. The wording and intended use can also have the same effect.

Because of this, all prices and quotations are generated excluding VAT as the VAT implications are unknown until the sight of artwork. If there is any doubt as to whether or not VAT should be applied the instructions from HMRC are that VAT must be charged.

For a detailed understanding please view the guidance from HMRC by clicking below.