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HMRC internal manual

VAT Books

From
HM Revenue & Customs
Updated
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Books: Processes leading to the production of printed matter: The five stages of the production process

When considering each stage, you should always consider what is actually happening - not how the invoice describes the process. For example, it is customary within the printing trade to itemise the various stages in the production of zero-rated printed matter. This may either take place on the invoice itself or on a backing document. However, this itemisation does not mean that separate supplies have taken place - it is merely the way that the printing trade works and is recognised as such.

VAT liability table for the five stages in producing printed matter

The table below outlines when the five different stages occur. It charts the production process for five common articles of printed matter, pinpoints where each of the five stages begins and ends and shows the liability consequences.

### Stage ### Production of a traditional book ### Production of a loose-leaf book for use with a ring binder ### Production of a pamphlet or brochure ### Production of a leaflet ### Production of a map ### VAT liability
(ZR = zero-rated, SR = standard-rated)              
               
  ### Preliminary services Author writes book & supplies manuscript. Author writes book & supplies manuscript. Author writes pamphlet & supplies manuscript. Author writes subject matter of leaflet & submits to graphic designer. Area surveyed; detail shown on one sheet & colours on separate sheets. ZR if supplied as an integral part of a supply of ZR printed matter; SR in all other cases.
  ### Preparatory work Typeset using VDU; printed onto photographic paper; several pages at once photographically transferred onto a printing plate; sheets of several pages printed; cut, folded, collated; edges trimmed. Typeset using VDU; printed on to photographic paper; several pages at once photographically transferred on to a printing plate; sheets of several pages printed; cut, folded, collated. Typeset using VDU; printed on to photographic paper; several pages at once photographically transferred on to a printing plate; sheets of several pages printed; cut, folded, collated; pages wrapped together & trimmed. Artwork & graphic design of leaflet; typeset using VDU; transferred onto film, coloured tints pasted on if necessary; several sheets at once trans-ferred onto a printing plate; several leaflets printed on large glass. Colours & other details combined to produce art work suitable for printing; proof copies run off for checking by customer; copies returned with any suggested alterations. ZR if supplied by the person who has the contract to supply the completed printed matter; SR if supplied separately; may be ZR by certificate if supplied to a charity.
  ### Production of zero rated goods Sheets bound into a cover. Complete set of sheets hole-punched. Pages stapled together or saddle-stitched. Large sheet cut into single sheets of leaflets. Final map produced. ZR in all circumstances.
  ### Post-production services Books packed for delivery. Set of loose leaves packaged & wrapped for delivery. Pamphlets put into envelopes. Leaflets folded & trimmed.   ZR if supplied by the person who has the contract to supply the completed printed matter; SR if supplied separately.
  ### Alterations Paperback cover replaced by a hard cover; rebinding after wear & tear   Brochure overprinted on space provided with names & addresses of particular traders.   Map lined with cloth; map amended, for example to conform with latest Admiralty charts. Always SR.