What are VAT rates?

Second reduced rate of VAT

The second reduced rate of Value-Added Tax (VAT) applies only to certain goods and services, including:

  • newspapers and periodicals
  • certain eBooks, eNewspapers and ePeriodicals. This excludes:
    • those which wholly or predominantly are devoted to advertising
    • or
    • consist wholly or predominantly of audio or video content.
  • the provision, by a person other than a non-profit making organisation, of facilities for taking part in sport.

For the period from 1 November 2020 to 28 February 2023, the following items are subject to the second reduced rate of VAT

  • catering and restaurant supplies (excluding alcohol, soft drinks and bottled water)
  • hot take-away food, and hot tea and coffee
  • hotel lettings, for example, guesthouses, caravan parks or camping sites
  • admissions to cinemas, theatres, certain musical performances, museums, art galleries or exhibitions
  • amusement services of the kind normally supplied in fairgrounds or amusement parks
  • admission to an open farm
  • hairdressing services
  • certain printed matter such as brochures, leaflets, catalogues or printed music (excluding books).

The reduced rate of VAT applies to the above items prior to 1 November 2020.

For the period from 1 May 2022 to 28 February 2023, the following items are subject to the second reduced rate of VAT:

  • the supply of electricity
  • the supply of gas used for domestic or industrial heating or lighting, whether in gaseous or liquid form. This excludes:
    • vehicle gas
    • liquefied petroleum gas for use as a propellant
    • gas for welding or cutting metal
    • and
    • gas sold as lighter fuel.

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