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HMRC internal manual

VAT Books

Books: Processes leading to the production of printed matter: Alterations

Sometimes an article of zero-rated printed matter is produced and then altered at a later stage. Here, the process both begins and ends with an existing article of zero-rated printed matter: the article has been altered, but maintains the same essential characteristics. Alterations are therefore always standard-rated, as they do not produce new zero-rated goods. However, if the goods which result from the alteration are then sold on to a third party, that sale will be zero-rated.

For example, a chart might be amended to conform with the latest admiralty information. A map producer might ask another company to carry out this amendment. The charge from the amending company to the map producer is standard-rated as an alteration. However, if the map-producer mass-produces the amended version and sells it to the public, each of those sales may be zero-rated.