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bigduckontax, Accountant
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I am an agent publishers selling reproduction rights

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I am an agent for book publishers selling reproduction rights to other publishers. I invoice and collect the rights income and then hand over 85% to the copyright holder. I invoice the copyright holder 15% for my services.
At which point does VAT get involved in this process. I am registered for VAT in UK

Hello, I'm Keith and happy to help you with your question.

Under normal VAT accounting every invoice you issue should have VAT added at the standard rate (20%). The service you provide, although within the book trade, is not one of the categories where the rate of VAT would be zero. The 85% you hand over to the copyright holder is, of course, 85% of the net sum billed before you added your VAT. If the copyright holder is registered for VAT then they should issue you with a VAT invoice to enable you to reclaim any input tax.

I would recommend that you have a look at VAT Notice 701/10. You will find it at:

I would also be inclined to consult your local VAT Office for further guidance. Although VAT 701/10 does indicate that your services are standard rated there may be precedents which will allow it to be taxed at the zero rate.

I do hope I have shown you a way forward with your conundrum.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Just for clarification, are you saying that the invoice I raise on the buyer in my name for rights as well as my 15% commission fee invoice thereon are subject to VAt at standard rate.

Yes I am at this stage. The rights and the commission would be aggregated for VAT purposes. This is why I would urge you to consult your VAT office as some precedent may exist out with VAT Notice 701/10 which will enable your activities to be zero rated.
bigduckontax and other Tax Specialists are ready to help you
Thank you for your support.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Sadly there is no reference to the sale of book rights or permission in

VAT Notice 701/10. Is there a Vat notice on rights per se?

I was unable to find one which is why I suggested that to approach your VAT office for guidance might be appropriate. I have always found their staff most helpful.