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EU consults on reduced e-book VAT

  • Jul 24, 2016 | Richard Asquith

EU consults on reduced e-book VAT

The European Commission has launched a public consultation on allowing member states to drop the VAT rates applied on e-books to match those on printed books. The consultation will last till mid September.

Since a 2015 European Court of Justice ruling, EU member states have been required to apply their higher, standard VAT rates on e-books. In accordance with the EU VAT Directive, since e-books are not listed in the Annex II as eligible for reduced VAT, then higher rates must be applied.

The EC plans to publish legislation proposals before the end of 2016 on changing the VAT Directive. Aside from potentially reducing rates, the EC is looking at the definitions of electronically supplied publications. This is part of the wider EU VAT reform – EU VAT Action Plan.

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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 can be contacted at: He is part of the European leadership team which won International Tax Review's 2019 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.