Printed Books Sold with Other Property

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Generally speaking, the sale, for a single price, of an item comprised of a printed book and other property, other than a read-only medium or the right to access a website, is a taxable sale. In such a case, the sale constitutes the sale of a new item that is not a printed book.

For example, the sale of an item comprised of a printed book and any of the following property is a taxable sale:

  • massage stones
  • cups
  • tasting spoons
  • tarot cards
  • tools
  • paints and brushes
  • coloured pencils
  • a cooking thermometer
  • a jigger and shaker
  • a bowl
  • needles and thread

In some very rare cases, the sale of an item comprised of a printed book and other property that is of little importance remains the sale of a printed book. For example, the sale of a printed book and some stickers is a zero-rated sale.

Read-only media or rights to access a website

A read-only medium is a tangible medium designed for storage of information and other data in digital form. A consumer can only use this medium in read mode.

The sale, for a single price, of an item comprised of a printed book and a read-only medium or the right to access a website is a zero-rated sale, provided

  • the printed book and the read-only medium or the right to access a website are wrapped, packaged, combined or otherwise prepared to be sold as an inseparable whole of which they are the only components
  • it is reasonable to consider the printed book to be the main component of the sale

For example, the sale, for a single price, of any of the following three items, which meet the above-mentioned requirements, is a zero-rated sale:

  • a recipe book and a CD-ROM showing how to prepare some of the recipes in the book
  • a psychology book and a Web companion that provides the means to access additional information online
  • an English dictionary in book form and on CD-ROM

On the other hand, the sale, for a single price, of an item comprised of a novel and a DVD of the film version of the novel is a taxable sale, because the item sold does not meet the above-mentioned requirements.

Note

The sale of an item that is not a book but that has an ISBN number, such as software or an electronic document on CD-ROM, is a taxable sale.

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