In HMRC v News Corp UK & Ireland Limited [2021] EWCA Civ 91, the Court of Appeal reversed the decision made by the Upper Tribunal (UT), finding that electronic versions of newspapers should be standard rated for VAT.

The Court of Appeal found in HMRC’s favour, concluding that electronic versions of newspapers should be standard rated. It was held that:  


This decision affects supplies made by News Corp in the VAT periods September 2010 to June 2014 and 28 January 2013 to 4 December 2016.

As Announced in Budget 2020, a zero-rate of VAT applies to e-publications from 1 May 2020 to ensure that e-books, e-newspapers, e-magazines and academic e-journals are entitled to the same VAT treatment as their physical counterparts. 

Useful guides on this topic

VAT: E-newspapers should be zero-rated
In News Corp UK & Ireland Limited v HMRC [2019] UKUT 0404 (TCC), the Upper Tribunal (UT) found that electronic editions of newspapers should be treated in the same way as printed newspapers for VAT, and zero-rated.

Books and Printed Matter
At Budget 2020 it was announced that from 1 December 2020 e-publications will be zero-rated. This measure was fast-tracked forward to a new commencement date of 1 May 2020 due to the Coronavirus lockdown.

Goods or services for VAT?
What are goods and what are services for VAT? The answer may have an impact on the time of supply, the place of supply and in some cases the rate of the supply. The answer is not always as straightforward as it may seem.

Appeals: VAT
The process of making a VAT appeal largely follows that of direct taxes, however, there are some differences.

Correcting VAT errors
What are the time limits? Can you do it through the VAT return? Do you have to notify HMRC?

External link

HMRC v News Corp UK & Ireland Limited [2021] EWCA Civ 91

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