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HMRC internal manual

VAT Books

Books: Printed matter supplied with services: Printed matter supplied in return for a subscription

This section deals with printed matter supplied as part of a package of membership benefits by clubs, associations and similar bodies. Notice 701/5 Clubs and Associations gives further guidance on this issue.

If, however, you are concerned with the printer who produces the article for the relevant body, you need to consider your article under the normal rules for zero-rating.

Membership subscriptions

The VAT treatment of the entitlement to the benefits of membership, including the supply of printed matter, in return for a subscription is outlined in Notice 701/5 Clubs and Associations.

Magazine subscriptions

Sometimes magazines are supplied on an annual subscription basis. If you are certain that all that is being supplied is the magazine, the whole supply may be zero-rated. However, we are aware of instances where the subscription conferred other rights - for example, the right to buy goods at discounted rates, or the right to participate in pyramid selling schemes and thereby earn commission payments. If this is the case, you should allow only a reasonable apportionment of the subscription, to reflect the zero-rated element relating to the magazine.