1. VAT and duties

VAT is a tax you pay on most goods and services.

You pay different taxes or ‘duties’ on things including alcohol, tobacco, fuel, gambling, insurance and flights.


You pay 20% VAT most of the time - but less on essential items.

Rate % of VAT What the rate applies to
Standard 20% Most goods and services
Reduced rate 5% Some goods and services, eg children’s car seats and some energy-saving materials in the home
Zero rate 0% Zero-rated goods and services, eg most food and children’s clothes

Check the VAT rates on different goods and services. Some things are exempt from VAT, eg postage stamps and some financial and property transactions.

VAT is normally included in the price you see in shops, but there are some exceptions.

VAT and disabled people

You don’t have to pay VAT on certain goods and services if they’re just for your own use and you’re disabled or have a long-term illness.

Other taxes and duties

You pay different taxes on: