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VAT liability of digital newspapers

01 February 2021
Issue: 4778 / Categories: Tax cases
CRC v News Corp UK and Ireland Ltd, Court of Appeal, 28 January 2021

The main issue in the appeal was whether daily digital editions of the taxpayer’s titles were newspapers within the meaning of VATA 1994 Sch 8 group 3 item 2 and liable to zero rating. After the Upper Tribunal overturned the First-tier Tribunal decision in favour of HMRC so HMRC appealed.

Since the Upper Tribunal’s decision the government announced on 11 March 2020 that zero rating would be extended to all electronic newspaper publications with effect from 1 May 2020. This was confirmed in Revenue and Customs Brief 3/2020: VAT liability of supplies of electronic publications. However that announcement did not affect this appeal which related to the VAT periods September 2010 to June 2014 and 28 January 2013 to 4 December 2016.

Finding for HMRC the Court of Appeal said the Upper Tribunal had been wrong to find that the words in Sch 8 group...

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