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15 January 2013
Issue: 4386 / Categories: Forum & Feedback
A business publishes weekly or monthly technical newsletters etc which are paid for by annual subscriptions. Increasingly, online publication is replacing the printed version, but what is the VAT treatment in the year of change?

My client publishes technical newsletters magazines and updates. They are issued weekly or monthly and are paid for by annual subscriptions.

With the advent of computers and increasingly tablets and other mobile devices more of these publications are now being published online.

I have always understood that printed publications were zero-rated but I should be grateful for readers’ thoughts on the following scenarios.

First what is the position if a printed publication is also offered in an online version inclusive in the original subscription.

For example a magazine that costs £100 a year is offered online as well for no extra cost. Is this still a fully zero-rated supply or should an element be subject to VAT at the standard rate?

Second what is the position when a publication ceases to be printed and is supplied in an online format only?


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