Blog > Blog > EU VAT > EU adopts e-book VAT harmonization

EU adopts e-book VAT harmonization

  • EU VAT
  • 06 November 2018 | Richard Asquith

EU adopts e-book VAT harmonization

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.


VP Global Indirect Tax
Richard Asquith
VP Global Indirect Tax Richard Asquith
Richard Asquith is VP Global Indirect Tax at Avalara, helping businesses understand their compliance obligations as they grow globally. He is part of the European leadership team which this year won International Tax Review's Tax Technology Firm of the Year. Richard qualified as an accountant with KPMG in the UK, and went on to work in Hungary, Russia and France with EY.