To include or not to include? - VAT in stated prices

The CAP Code requires that prices in ads include non-optional taxes, duties, fees and charges that apply to all or most buyers. This applies to all advertising and marketing materials, including websites and social media profiles.

Because the correct use of VAT-inclusive and VAT-exclusive prices is a recurring issue in ASA complaints across industries and media, we have some best practice guidance from our Compliance team to help you get your price quotes right.

Here are some pointers to get you started:

Include the VAT when any prospective buyers will pay VAT

If both consumers and businesses are likely to see the ad, and are both able to buy the product(s), you’ll need to quote VAT-inclusive prices. 

Clearly address any VAT-exclusive prices

If you quote VAT-exclusive prices, make sure they are clearly addressed to buyers who do not pay (or can recover) VAT, e.g. by clearly stating “business price” or “trade price”.

Include a statement of the amount or rate of VAT payable when quoting VAT-exclusive prices

If you can quote VAT-exclusive prices, these still need to be prominently accompanied by the rate or amount of VAT, for example “ex VAT@20%”.

See the full guidance for more detail and examples, and make sure you review and amend your advertising if you need to, in order to minimise the risk of being contacted by our Compliance Team

If you have any questions about specific aspects of your own non-broadcast advertising, please speak to our Copy Advice team for fast, free and confidential advice.   We also have further guidance on VAT price quotations here and here.

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