Business Mail Services

Why is VAT being charged?

The Government has announced that VAT (Value Added Tax) will be charged on some Postal Service Products sent within the European Union (EU), including the UK, from 31 January 2011.

Which services will be affected?

Most Royal Mail customers will be unaffected by the Government changes to VAT. For example, 1st and 2nd Class post will remain exempt from VAT.

More information on the Royal Mail Services that are affected is available on the Royal Mail website.

Don’t worry, you will not be charged VAT when you buy postage stamps.

This change will affect several Parcelforce Worldwide services to EU destinations. These services are being reviewed and information on the impact to Post Office® customers (including impacts on price) will be made available on the Parcelforce website and in branch nearer the time.

How will I know if VAT has been charged?

From 31 January 2011, the receipt you’re normally given after you’ve been served will change. For each item, the receipt will show the VAT exclusive and VAT inclusive amounts. Where appropriate, it will also include a VAT summary with the total VAT paid at each VAT rate.

What are the VAT rates?

This is what the VAT rates look like:

  • Standard – 20%1
  • Zero – 0%
  • Exempt – Product is exempt from VAT

The VAT rate will also be shown on your receipt using this key:

(S) = Standard rate
(Z) = Zero rate
(E) = Exempt

Will I be able to reclaim VAT?

If your business is VAT-registered, as a general rule you’ll be able to reclaim VAT using your VAT receipt. If you’re not VAT registered then you can’t reclaim the VAT on the products you’ve bought.

For more information on VAT, visit the HMRC website

Got a question?

Contact 0845 611 2970.

Discuss your business needs in branch

Find a branch


Discuss your business needs in branch

Find a branch

Can we help?

To find out more, call:

0345 611 2970

8.15am-6pm, Mon-Fri

8.30am-2pm, Sat