VAT rates all over the map

 

Sir, – I’m sure that The Irish Times and other newspaper and magazine publishers will welcome the retention of the 9 per cent VAT rate for their sector. Additionally the reduction from 23 per cent to 9 per cent VAT for “electronic publications” is also to be welcomed and is long overdue.

I would like to bring to your attention that not all Irish publishers are being treated fairly. We are publishers of topographic maps which are popular with the public. In recent years, maps have been grouped with newspapers, etc, for VAT purposes. In truth, they should be equated with books at 0 per cent VAT, as per the UK and other countries. Books convey information in text or pictorial languages, and maps convey information in graphical language. However, the recent Finance Act 2018 has discriminated against map publishers and alone amongst publishers we must now absorb 13.5 per cent VAT on our price-pointed print publications. Furthermore, it seems that if we publish maps electronically, that these will continue to be rated at 23 per cent VAT. The net result of this will be a loss of income and therefore reduce our ability to invest in developing new maps for the Irish public. We must all pay taxes, and as businesses gather taxes, but let’s have basic equity among publishers. – Yours, etc,

BARRY DALBY,

EastWest Mapping,

Clonegal,

Enniscorthy,CoWexford.