COVID-19: Zero rate VAT on e-publications & PPE

Maria McConnell | 05 May 2020

COVID-19: Zero rate VAT on e-publications & PPE


Full details of how we can help you around COVID-19 / Coronavirus is available on our special page ( which you can access by clicking here. We will be keeping all our information updated as things progress and schemes are clarified, so please check back regularly, or follow us on Twitter or LinkedIn to keep informed of all the changes. 


Zero rate VAT on e-publications

Written 1pm Friday 1st May.

During the Budget on 11 March 2020, the Government announced that it intended to amend legislation to apply a permanent zero rate of VAT to supplies of certain electronic publications with effect from 1 December 2020.  However, following the outbreak of COVID-19, this date has been brought forward to 1 May 2020.  The earlier implementation of the reduced rate of VAT has been done to reduce the cost of access to e-publications whilst so many people are confined to their homes and schools and work places are closed.

These changes will effect businesses that supply certain electronic publications, as well as businesses, organisations and members of the public that purchase those publications.  A link to HMRC’s Revenue and Customs Brief 3 (2020) is provided below:

 If you have any questions or concerns on this please do not hesitate to get in touch with our VAT Director Maria McConnell ( or any of our team.


Temporary Zero Rate VAT on PPE:

Written 1pm Tuesday 5th May.

A temporary zero rate has been introduced to UK legislation via a new Group 20 to Schedule 8 of the Value Added Tax Act 1994.

HMRC has introduced the temporary zero rate, which is effective from 1 May until 31 July 2020, on the supply to any business or individual of PPE as recommended by Public Health England on 24 April 2020, for use for protection from infection with coronavirus (COVID-19). 

Its main objective in introducing this new reduced rate is to relieve businesses, particularly in the healthcare and residential care sectors, of the burden of tax on essential infection protection equipment needed to deal with the emergency.  A link to Revenue and Customs brief 4(2020) provides further details.


Other COVID-19 Information:

For all our help, support and information around COVID-19 / Coronavirus visit, where you can link to articles HMRC deferralsbusiness loans including Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (“CBILS”), personal tax & self-assessmentdebt assistance & restructuring and much more.





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