EU adopts e-book VAT harmonization
- EU VAT
- 06 November 2018 | Richard Asquith
The European Union has formally ratified the right of member states to harmonise their VAT rates on electronic books and publications with those of their printed equivalent.
Agreement was reached by Finance Minister last month, and this has now been agreed to by the European Council, where political leaders approve changes to EU laws and directives. Currently, member states must levy their standard, higher VAT rates on e-books and online news journals. Only specific goods listed within Annex III of the EU VAT Directive may benefit from reduced rates. E-books and similar digital products had not been created at the time of the drawing-up of Annex III, and so are excluded. The right to reduce VAT rates on such products comes after many failed ECJ attempts to change the interpretation of the VAT Directive.