European publishers and booksellers have welcomed the decision of the European Commission (EC) to allow VAT to be reduced on e-books, with sales now bound to go up, according to booksellers.
Brussels yesterday (1st December) released proposals for new tax rules, including delivering on its pledge “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, removing provisions that excluded e-publications from the favourable tax treatment allowed for traditional printed publications”.
The EC first committed to reducing VAT rates on e-books earlier this year. In an Action Plan published in April, part of its digital single market strategy, it said it sought to address “the unequal treatment of paper versus e-publications for VAT purposes”. At the time, Stephen Lotinga told The Bookseller he welcomed the prospect of “greater flexibility”, saying “the tax system should not act as a disincentive to reading and learning”.