VAT on Books

Whether VAT should apply to books has raised its head again.  The EU’s High Level Expert Group on Taxation of the Digital Economy, which was established in October last year, has submitted its findings to the European Commission.

On physical and digital goods, the Group says that it   ‘…agrees with the Commission that similar goods and services should be subject to the same VAT rate.  However, to ensure that there is no further complexity in the VAT system … such similar products should be taxed at the standard rates … rather than a reduced rate’.  This is potentially bad news for publishers of printed books.  However, the Vice President of the EU Commission, Nellie Kroes, swiftly responded by saying, ‘personally I would prefer taxes … to be equalised downwards’.

So the debate rumbles on!  All of this will feed into Commissioner Semeta’s DG Taxation Communication on VAT, which is due for publication in a few weeks’ time.

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