The European & International Booksellers Federation – EIBF – warmly welcomes the unanimous decision of the Economic and Financial Affairs Council (Ecofin) of 2 October, which will allow Member States who so wish to apply reduced rates of VAT to electronic publications, including e-books
EIBF co-Presidents Fabian Paagman and Jean-Luc Treutenaere commented: “EIBF has been advocating against tax discrimination on e-books for many years and the decision of lowering VAT rates on e-books is the result of the lobbying efforts of the bookselling sector at European level, represented by EIBF. Today’s decision finally resolves a long-standing issue. Whether a book is paper or digital, ordered online or bought in a shop, different tax treatment that hampers access to books should be avoided. From now on VAT rates on paper books and e-books will be aligned (if Members States so whish), a measure which will boost the e-book market and will further stimulate reading.”
The proposal agreed today by all Member States, will allow – but not oblige – Member States to align the rates of e-publications to those of printed publications. The new rules will apply temporarily, pending the introduction of a new, ‘definitive’ VAT system. The directive will be adopted without further discussion once the text has been finalised in all official languages.