UK VAT and Cewe Photobooks

Started Jul 17, 2012 | Discussions thread
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Dominic G Smith
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UK VAT and Cewe Photobooks
Jul 17, 2012

Recently, HMRC in the UK have lost a Tax Tribunal case regarding printed Photobooks. Essentially they are to be regarded as Books and therefore not subject to VAT at 20%. They are I believe zero rated for VAT purposes.

The printers I use for my final wedding albums, stopped charging VAT as soon as HMRC said they would not appeal.

However, I use Cewe Photoworld for my wedding proof books and also for Parents albums, as they are much cheaper than the 'pro' labs. The quality is good and provided you have your own setup calibrated, then there are no issues with colours etc. I probably spend around £1,500 a year with them. To get the same books from my 'pro' lab would cost around £2,750.

They are however still charging VAT at 20% on all of their books, and despite asking them at least twice when they were going to stop this, I have not yet had a reply.

I was just wondering if anyone else has approached them or other labs re this and if so, what kind of reply did you get?

Does anyone know if other 'consumer' labs have stopped charging VAT on their photobooks? I have just been on the Bob Books site and they say all of their Photobook prices are inclusive of VAT so it would appear not.

And where does this 'VAT' go? If the books are zero rated, is this just additional profit? Or if it is stated as 'VAT on your receipt, do they actually give it to the Taxman?

I know this is a very British post, but that £1,500 a year I pay equates to about 30 proof books, and I would rather have the £250 'VAT' in my pocket not theirs.


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