VAT on maps

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  • Post category:Blog

Whilst VAT (Valued Added Tax) is a fairly simple tax in general principal, the application of VAT in relation to maps in this state is quite simply crazy. If as a publisher we produce:
1) a book or booklet (bound and with more than eight pages) with map content printed on the pages, then this is a BOOK and rated currently at 0%. The consumer pays no VAT.
2) a folded map with same content, then this is a MAP and rated currently at 9%, it was 13.5% and will return to that in 2014, afaik. 9% of what the consumer pays goes to the Revenue.
3) a SD card or other digital format with exact same map content, then this is a SERVICE and rated currently at 23%!!! So, 23% of what the consumer pays goes to the Revenue.

Same map content, three different formats, three different VAT rates = crazy.

The curious thing about this is a map contains a language, just like a book – except that it's a graphic language. If we were to publish our mapping in TEXT format, we could create hundreds of volumes that would attract no VAT but be practically useless to anybody.

Please write to the Minister for Finance here if you find this strange and unacceptable!