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Lower VAT on e-books and e-magazines – the EC’s proposal to cut the rates

After a long time waiting, the subject of changing the taxation law of e-books and other digital publications has finally been raised. Can this possibly change our approach to digital books and press?

Reduced VAT on e-books

The European Commission’s proposal met with the approval of the majority of EU Member States. Interestingly, Poland was one of the countries which fought for such changes. The whole concept relates to the change in cost rate of value-added tax of books and magazines which can only be read in an electronic format.

As the new EC’s regulations suggest, the EU Member States could reduce or apply a zero rate of VAT to e-books and e-magazines, just like to the paper editions. Until now, e-books have been applied the standard VAT rate.

So, what does this mean for e-book users?

The changes proposed by EC are supposed to make the electronics cheaper and more common. With these changes the EU member states will gain greater freedom in applying lower taxation on e-books and other digital media. There would even be a possibility of applying a zero VAT rate.

Where does this revolution come from?

The changes are particularly beneficial to Poland, which had already striven for similar changes in the past. In 2015 a government representative, together with the Ministers of Culture from Italy, Germany and France, signed a letter which calls attention to this problem. Assuring an easy access to culture and literature, regardless of its form, is now a challenge the EU has to face. However, before the changes will come into force it is crucial to get them approved by the rest of the member states.

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