HMRC’s guidance is contained in Notice 701/10. In relation to diaries etc. the notice confirms HMRC policy that the following are standard rated:

Diaries and address books, because these are essentially stationary items (para. 3.1); and

Items which are, primarily, intended for completion (para. 3.4). The Notice provides a test as to how ‘primarily’ is defined.

HMRC’s policy is in line with the High Court decision in Colour Offset Ltd [1995] BVC 31, which is a leading authority on the definition of a book for the purposes of the zero-rating. (However, as with all HMRC guidance it is important to read it in the light of the legislation).

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