Enjoy national colouring book day VAT free

If it rains this Wednesday (2 August) why not celebrate national colouring book day by staying indoors, breaking out the felt tips and enjoy family time together colouring in, as it could be a very tax efficient activity.

HMRC has made generous provision to ensure both adult and children’s colouring-in books will now be free from the burden of 20 per cent VAT. As you have would expected, though the devil is always in the detail.

HMRC announced that with effect from 1 April this year if changes were made to marketing, so that adult colouring-in books are suitable for and targeted at children under the age of 18 then they should be VAT-free like children’s colouring-in books.

HMRC stipulated, that while the colouring and dot-to-dot books do not need to specifically state they are for sale to children to be treated as VAT-free, there is qualifying criteria to be met by high street retailers and online sellers, such as the books must not state that they are suitable or specifically aimed at adults or grown-ups; should not be held out for sale in retail shops or websites together with other adult books that are unsuitable for children; and must not contain images reflecting profanity, pornography, violence or illegal acts.

Jim Burberry, VAT partner at RSM said:

‘Due to the increasing popularity of this hobby for all the family, anything that stretches the household budget further by reducing the cost of items such as adult colouring-in books must be good news for both suppliers and consumers.’