The German government has proposed to reduce the VAT rate on audio books from 19% to 7% and is also considering reducing the VAT rate on e-books.
Printed books are subject to a 7% VAT rate in Germany.
The move comes after both France and Luxembourg applied the reduced VAT rates to e-books. The lowering of the rates by France and Luxembourg was controversial since EU legislation does not permit reduced rates of VAT to be applied to e-books; as a result, both countries have been referred to the ECJ by the European Commission.
The German government said it is “strongly committed” to push for an EU-wide exemption for e-books to reflect the rapid advancement of technology. This comes after recent EU discussion to consider harmonising the VAT treatment of e-books.