Published on: 01 Jun 2016
Everyone seems to be on their smartphone or tablet at the moment. After all, when was the last time you read a book? Or let me ask you a slightly different question, when was the last time you coloured in a colouring book?
“Coloured in a colouring book!? I’m not a child”, I hear you say but whilst most people will come to the conclusion that the last time they coloured in a colouring book was when they were a young child, things may be changing.
One of the latest crazes doing the rounds in the UK at the moment is adult colouring books where grown men and women are buying adult colouring books to colour in. A quick Google search of “adult colouring books” will reveal the vast variety of such type of books (as an aside make sure you include the word “colouring” when searching for adult colouring books otherwise you may get an unexpected search result).
It’s been reported that more than 3 million adult colouring books were sold in the UK last year which represented over £20 million worth of revenue for the publishing industry.
Now, whilst certain trendy people may well be rushing to buy colouring books, the tax authorities in the UK are also getting interested in the trend.
The reason behind the tax authorities interest is that colouring books are currently treated as children’s books and as such are zero rated for VAT purposes (in other words VAT is not charged on the books).
The tax authorities are currently in talks with publishers about plans to classify adult colouring books as uncompleted books which would then make them liable to VAT at 20% in the same way that diaries and notepads are.
The net result is that if the tax authorities do reclassify the adult colouring books then either the books will become 20% more expensive for the individual purchasers or if they remain at the same published price, the publishers will have to take the hit.
More expensive adult colouring books? It’s enough to make you throw your toys out of the cot.