Ahead of most of Europe, Turkey harmonised its VAT treatment of digital and traditional publications on 1st December 2013. Since this date, electronic books; and, electronic newspapers/magazines had enjoyed the same reduced VAT rates, as their printed counterparts, at the rates of 8% and 1% respectively.
However, as of 1st January 2019, the standard 18% rate of VAT applies to the sales of these publications in electronic form. This change covers electronic books, newspapers, magazines and also electronic readers and tablets. The VAT rate on audio books remains at 18%.
The measure runs counter to the general trend in Europe demonstrated by Switzerland, Iceland and the recent decision taken by the European Commission last year, amending the VAT Directive, to finally allow for the alignment of VAT rates for electronic and printed publications at national level within the EU.