EU to allow VAT-free e-books

Member states will now be allowed to grant e-books, audio books and printed books the same tax status.

For years, the EU has treated e-books as software and not as books, meaning they were liable to up to 20% tax.  Now – at last – the EU’s Economic and Financial Affairs Council has agreed to allow member states to give eBooks and audiobooks VAT free status.  

Those with a long memory will remember that the EU had previously challenged countries who attempted a unilateral lowering of tax on electronic books.
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Now it is up to publishers and other bodies to lobby governments and agencies to take advantage of the proposed changes. In the UK, the Publishers Association has released a statement: 

"The government must act now to remove this unfair and illogical tax on e-books, magazine and newspaper online subscriptions. It makes no sense in the modern world that readers are being penalised with an additional 20% tax for choosing to embrace digital. We should not be taxing reading and learning."

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