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EU council gives e-books VAT-free status

Mike Wakeford

In early October, the EU’s Economic and Financial Affairs Council (Ecofin) decided to green-light a proposal for e-books to have the same VAT-free status as their printed counterparts. 

The decision permits member states to align the rates, but does not force them to.

The UK Government is now being urged by the UK Publishers Association to change the VAT status of e-publications and make ‘paper vs digital’ a thing of the past. 

In addition, many members of the House of Lords have also called on the Government to make the change, as the current tax rates are discriminatory towards those with visual impairment. 

The VAT rate for e-books, alongside online magazine and newspaper subscriptions currently stands at the UK’s standard 20% rate. 

With no mention of the change in the Autumn budget, could this be a change we see early 2019?