What VAT rate applies to adult colouring and dot-to-dot books? What about colouring books for children?
This is a freeview 'At a glance' guide to VAT on colouring books.
At a glance
HMRC have clarified that only children’s colouring and dot-to-dot books can be zero-rated: the zero-rating does not extend to books marketed for adults.
Adult colouring books have become popular recently, leading to many suppliers treating them as zero-rated under either the general paper-book zero-rating group or under the children’s picture and painting books group.
- General books must be designed to be read or looked at to be zero-rated.
- It does not include colouring books where any writing is secondary.
- If the colouring books are marketed for adults then they should not be treated as eligible for zero-rating under the children’s picture and painting books group.
From 1 April 2017, it is no longer be accepted that a colouring book is zero-rated if one of the following conditions is met:
- They are marked as suitable for adults.
- They are held out as unsuitable for children, for adults only, are sold with other adult books, or they are not appropriately marked as suitable for children.
- The images contain profanity, pornography or gratuitous nudity, violence or illegal acts.
These books must be standard-rated.
Useful guides on this topic
Books and Printed Matter
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Registering for VAT
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