The UK, along with 16 other EU Members, will continue to charge the standard rate of VAT for e-books, audio books and online newspapers despite the fact that the EU finance minster agreed to harmonise the rates with its printed versions back in October 2018.
So far out of the 27 Member States, only 10 have already enacted into their local VAT laws to harmonise VAT rates for e-books and other online material to bring these in line with the current reduced or zero rates that apply for its printed counterpart. These being:
There are also a further 8 members that have proposed changes including Czech Republic, Germany and the Netherlands who are currently going through the legislative process. However, Poland and Latvia have had proposals either rejected or withdrawn by the local Government. EFTA members Norway and Switzerland have also enacted this into legislation.
The UK currently applies a zero-rate to its printed books, newspapers and journals, therefore, a reduction from the current 20% standard rate would cost the Government a large amount of taxpayer’s money that could be used for struggling public services such as the NHS or Policing. Therefore, with a potential no-deal Brexit around the corner, we’re not expecting the UK Government to be implementing this anytime soon. Find more UK VAT news here and e-book updates here.