Turning a new leaf

Linda Skilbeck and Jayne Simpson examine the digital publications which are to be zero‑rated from 1 May 2020, and the complications highlighted in News Corp UK

In the March 2020 budget, Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced that from 1 December 2020, certain supplies of digital reading content ('e-publications') would be zero-rated 'just in time for Christmas'. Within two weeks, lockdown rules came into effect in the UK in response to the global coronavirus pandemic. This saw a marked increase in digital reading at home, particularly for schoolchildren, so the implementation date for zero-rating was revised by statutory instrument on 30 April 2020, and The Value Added Tax (Extension of Zero-Rating to Electronically Supplied Books etc.) (Coronavirus) Order 2020 brought forward the effective date to 1 May 2020.