E-books to be excluded from reduced VAT rates

In a judgment issued this week, the European Court of Justice ruled that the exclusion of digital books, newspapers and periodicals from the application of a reduced rate of VAT where they are supplied electronically is not contrary to the principle of equal treatment. Under the VAT Directive, the Member States may apply a reduced rate of VAT to printed publications such as books, newspapers and periodicals. Digital publications, by contrast, must be subject to the standard rate of VAT, with the exception of digital books supplied on a physical support (for example a CD-ROM).

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