Information on VAT and postal services

The Government recently announced that standard rate VAT will start to apply to some postal services from 31st January 2011.

  • Most Royal Mail customers will be unaffected by this change, since most services will stay exempt from VAT. Like First and Second Class stamped and franked mail and standard parcels. Meaning there’ll be no VAT to pay when you buy stamps.

Summary of the changes are listed below:


Please note that they are not increasing the basic price of any of their services on 31st January 2011. All they are doing is starting to apply VAT to those prices, as mandated by government.

Further advice

Most businesses are able to recover VAT in full, making these changes even less significant, but they do recognise that a few cannot.

For professional advice talk to Compare All.

Franked mail

If you’ve got a standard franking machine, you won’t be able to use it to buy any of the products affected by the introduction of VAT from 31st January 2011.

If you have a "smart" meter which can handle VAT, you’ll be fine.

Speak to Compare All to find out where you stand.

Online postage

You will not be able to buy affected services on SmartStamp® and Online Postage for a while. They will still be available at Post Office® branches and on account.


These are some of the services they will charge VAT on:

Express and Tracked services

  • Special Delivery™ 9.00a.m. Stamp, Franking and Account
  • Special Delivery™ Next Day Account
  • Royal Mail Tracked® and Tracked™ Next Day
  • Royal Mail Sameday®

International Services (VAT will only be added to EU destinations)

  • International Contract Services
  • International Airsure®
  • International Admail and Admail Packets
  • International Redirections

Advertising, Catalogues and Magazine Services

  • Big Book
  • Royal Mail Heavyweight
  • Mailmedia®

Unaddressed Mail

  • Door to Door

Other Services

  • Business Mail Secure
  • Admail
  • Local Collect
  • Callers Services
  • Rural Deliveries
  • Rural Carriage of Goods

Contract Services

  • Pre-Sorted Delivery
  • Mailroom Management
  • Mailroom Consulting Services
  • Royal Mail Relay®

These are some of the services that remain exempt from VAT

UK Services

  • First and Second Class (Stamped, Franked and PPI)
  • Special Delivery™ Next Day (Stamped and Franked)
  • Standard parcels
  • Recorded Signed For™
  • Cleanmail®, Cleanmail® Plus and Cleanmail® Advance
  • Mailsort® (70, 120, 700 and 1400)
  • Walksort®
  • Presstream®
  • Sustainable® Mail

International Services

  • International Airmail
  • International Surface Mail
  • All HM Forces Mail (BFPO)

If you are unsure as to how this will effect your company either refer to or simply email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and we will be happy to answer your questions.