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Journalism review recommends new tax reliefs

printer Mail

Dame Frances Cairncross has recommended extending VAT zero-rating to online subscriptions for digital newspapers and magazines, in addition to a new relief to support public-interest journalism.

In her report, A sustainable future for journalism, Dame Frances quotes a report by Frontier Economics estimating that zero-rating all digital publications would cost the Treasury £210m in 2019/20.

The report also recommends that the government explore the development of a new tax relief, ‘ideally under the Charities Act but if necessary along the lines of the creative sector reliefs’, to support public-interest journalism.

Chair of the House of Commons digital, culture, media and sport committee, Damian Collins, responded by agreeing that online digital newspapers and magazines should be zero-rated for VAT. ‘This would remove the false incentive for news companies against developing more paid for digital services’, he said.

The review called for evidence between June and September 2018 and attracted over 700 responses. See

Issue: 1431
Categories: News