The Committee of Advertising Practice (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 Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) complaints across industries and media, here are some best practice guidance 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 CAP’s Compliance Team.
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