EU ECOFIN fail to agree on the reduction of VAT on e-Books

28 July 2017

The EU’s Economic and Financial Affairs Council (ECOFIN) have failed to reach an agreement on reducing the VAT rate on e-books to match that of printed material.

ECOFIN is an EU council consisting of economic and finance ministers from all EU member states, who are responsible for setting EU polices in three main areas: economic policy, taxation issues and regulation of financial services.

In an ECOFIN meeting held in June 2017, where the reduction of VAT on e-Books was discussed, the Czech Republic representative objected to the measure, raising concerns about potential VAT fraud in the sector and requested a wider review of general digital services VAT treatment.

Currently digital publications are subject to the standard rate of VAT across the EU, while printed publications (offering the same reading content) are normally taxed at reduced rates.

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