Press release: FEP welcomes the directive on value-added tax rates

The new directive allows super-reduced and 0 VAT also on books and ebooks

The Federation of European Publishers welcomes the adoption on 5 April by the Economic and Financial Affairs (ECOFIN) Council of the directive amending Directive 2006/112/EC regarding value-added tax rates. The new directive aims to give Member States greater flexibility in setting their reduced and super-reduced VAT rates and was published in the Official Journal on 6 April. Among the items concerned are books and ebooks, which will be eligible for reduced, and now also super-reduced or even 0 VAT in all Member States thanks to the new proposal.

The prospect of super-reduced and 0 VAT represents important news for the book world at a time when rising paper and energy costs are putting the value chain in difficulty.

FEP has always pleaded for books to be taxed at the lowest rate possible due to their intrinsic educational, cultural and social value. In 2018, the campaign on reduced VAT on e-publications led by FEP with the representatives of newspaper and magazine publishers had made it possible to eliminate the unjustified distinction between print and digital publications when coming to VAT rates.

Nowadays, most Member States already apply a reduced VAT on books and ebooks, but, with the new directive, the book world can take another step towards a more accessible circulation of culture for everyone.

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