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Tax likely to come down on ebooks in the EU

Ebooks sold in the European Union are likely to face a lower VAT (value-added tax) next year following the European Commission’s (EC) proposal to ‘enable Member States to apply the same VAT rate to e-publications such as e-books and online newspapers as for their printed equivalents’, reports the Bookseller. Currently, e-publications in the EU are not eligible for the same reduced VAT rates that printed publications receive, as they are classed as an ‘electronic service’. This means that ebooks sold in the UK, for example, attract a 20% VAT while print books have a zero rate. The EC’s proposal, which must be agreed on by all member states, will ‘allow—but not oblige’ member states to align the tax rates on e-publications to those on printed publications. Co-president of the European and International Booksellers Federation (EIBF) Jean-Luc Treutenaere said the organisation ‘[looks] forward to a swift adoption of the proposal by the council, since a measure destined to boost the e-book market and to further stimulate reading should be met with the utmost favour’. ‘The commission’s e-commerce VAT-related decisions will definitely make sales of e-books easier for booksellers,’ he said.


Category: International news