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Turkey cuts VAT rate on ebooks

  • VAT
  • 16 December 2013 | Richard Asquith

Turkey cuts VAT rate on ebooks

Turkey has become the latest country to harmonise the VAT rate charged on e-books and traditional, printed books.  It plans to reclassify ebooks from the standard Turkish VAT rate of 18% to the same reduced rate as books, 8%.

European differences in ebook VAT

Currently, there are wide differences between the classification of ebooks for VAT.  Countries such as Germany and the UK charge their full, standard rates whilst levying reduced rates on print books.  This difference is created by the EU VAT Directive which permits a reduced rate for printed books and other key social products and services.  However, it makes no mention digital ebooks being given the same subsidy.

A number of other EU member states levy their reduced rates.  These include France and Luxembourg.  The EU has threatened both of these countries with legal action at the European Court of Justice for continuing to levy a reduced rate in contravention of the VAT Directive.  The European Commission against Luxembourg ebook VAT was detailed recently.

The Turkish VAT cut to ebooks came into effect at the start of December 2013.


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.