E-books – European VAT Anomaly

VAT on digital e-books but not on traditional paper ones is an on-going anomaly. The problem is due to European VAT law allowing Member States to charge reduced or no VAT on books as a social benefit, which is fine. But the law has not been updated for the rise of e-books in the digital age. The European Commission started infraction proceedings against France and Luxembourg in February, case 2012/4080, for charging a reduced VAT rate on e-books. In France the same 5.5% reduced rate applies to both traditional and e-books, Luxembourg 3% on each. Europe is looking at the traditional vs. e-book anomaly but pending a change in the law it looks like the Commission will try to uphold the current difference.

Eamon McNicholas
Tax Barrister, Accountant

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About Eamon McNicholas

Tax Barrister, Accountant www.EamonMcNicholas.com
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