VAT ~ Valued Added Tax or Sales Tax
If you’ve been keeping an eye on the news this past month, you’ll have seen or heard that the government raised the 9% VAT rate back to 13.5% as of 1st September. This VAT rate has been applied to printed maps for many years. It’s an anomaly since the VAT on books has always been zero and the rate for newspapers was reduced to 0% in the last budget.
The effect of the recent increase is to add c€0.50 onto one of our standard paper folded maps and c€1.00 onto a laminated version. Since most retail outlets have software for such matters, it is easy for them to change the VAT rate on their systems and for the new prices to apply. You’ll likely have read the reason for this reversal is due to ‘price gouging by the tourism sector’. What this has to do with the development of print mapping is a mystery.
On our website, I have retained the old prices for the moment which means we must pay the extra tax and which reduces our income. We’ll review the matter after the upcoming budget as I have been requesting equity with other publishers for some years. That map publishers and book/ newspaper publishers should be treated equally for VAT. It’s possible that this will be amended in the upcoming budget and/or Finance Bill. Though I’m realistic to know that it’s a trifling matter for the state – we don’t exactly have an independent map publishing industry apart from EastWest Mapping and Xploreit.
So watch this space and hopefully fairness will prevail. If not, I’ll need to adjust our own prices upwards in line with the increased VAT rate.