VATLive > Blog > European News > EU e-book VAT update - Avalara

EU e-book VAT update

  • Mar 27, 2017 | Richard Asquith

EU e-book VAT update

The Finance Ministers of the EU recently debated at ECOFIN the aligning of the VAT rates on e-books to the reduced VAT rates of their printed equivalent.  This follows a 2015 European Court of Justice ruling which held that e-books could not benefit from reduced VAT rates under the existing EU VAT Directive.

Several countries, including Germany, Spain and France, raised concerns that such a concession would trigger other campaign groups seeking similar tax subsidies for their causes. A few countries requested consideration to reduced VAT rates on internet services and women’s sanitary products.

EU member states also struggled to agree on the level of any potential rate reduction.  Many countries recommend only the reduced VAT rate - and not the super reduce VAT rate level.

It was agreed to resolve the above issues in time for the June ECOFIN meeting, and present draft legislation by the Autumn.

Latest news
Poland delays VAT cut to reform reduced rates
October 22, 2018

Poland’s Ministry of Finance has announced that it will recategorise many supplies to within the current reduced VAT rate category. However, this will mean Poland will not...
Hungary VAT registration threshold HUF 12m Jan 2019
October 17, 2018

Hungary has received permission to introduce an VAT registration threshold for businesses of HUF 12 million from 1 January 2019. This is approximately €48,000, based...
UK MTD pilot goes public; Oct 2019 groups & non-resident delay
October 16, 2018

HMRC announced today that it is opening the test pilot for its Making Tax Digital for VAT programme to the public.  However, HMRC also announced...

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.