S&Ds welcome the outcome of vote on VAT rate for publications

S&D Euro MPs today backed a proposal which would allow member states to apply the same VAT rate for print and e-publications.

S&D Euro MPs today backed a proposal which will allow member states to apply the same VAT rate for e-publications as for printed books.

Currently, electronically supplied services such as e-publications can be taxed at the standard minimum rate of 15%, whereas member states can apply reduced VAT rates and even super-reduced rates on print newspapers, books and periodicals.

S&D Group negotiator Mady Delvaux MEP said:

“I am very pleased that today the European Parliament voted with a large majority in favour of allowing member states to adjust VAT on e-books to the same rate as printed books. Today, the same novel can be taxed six or seven times more in its electronic version compared to the print copy. This difference of treatment between printed and e-publications has become less and less justifiable with the development of the digital economy.

"Many member states charge lower or even no VAT on books because they consider them to be important cultural assets to promote reading. Therefore, there is no reason to make a difference between printed and electronic books."

S&D Group spokesperson on economic and monetary affairs Pervenche Berès MEP added:

"After this important vote, we urge the Council to swiftly adopt this long-overdue amendment to the VAT legislation without waiting until the forthcoming general reform on VAT rates."