UK eliminates VAT on digital publications

The UK government decided to eliminate VAT on digital publications earlier than originally planned.

The VAT on digital publications in the UK stood at 20% and was originally scheduled to be scrapped on 1 December 2020. However, the UK government announced that would instead institute the elimination of the tax on 1 May 2020. The rationale was that, with people restricted to their homes because of the pandemic, the government wanted to make it very easy for people to buy books, magazines and newspapers. This followed on from statistics from the Publishers Association showing a sharp increase in ebook consumption. The change does not apply to audio books. Print publications were already exempt from taxation. This also aligns the UK with most EU countries, which have been allowed to drop taxing electronic publications since late 2018.