The Professional Publishers Association (PPA) has welcomed an EU decision to reduce VAT on online publications, including electronic books, newspapers and periodicals.
At present, electronically supplied services such as digital publications are taxed at the standard VAT rate, which in the UK is 20%. This contrasts with traditional media, which is zero-rated.
The directive, which will come into force on the 20th day after publication in the Official Journal, will allow member states that so wish to apply reduced VAT rates to electronic publications. While super-reduced and zero rates will only be allowed for member states that currently apply them to traditional printed media, the move will likely save publishers and news outlets considerable sums. PPA praised the move as ‘creating a foundation for freedom of opinion and democracy in the digital world’ and emphasising press freedom ‘as one of the essential values of European democratic societies’.
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