Europe: "eBooks cannot benefit from books' lower VAT rates"

Europe: "eBooks cannot benefit from books' lower VAT rates"

The sale of eBooks is a service, not a transaction of goods, according to the European Court. That means eBooks have to be taxed more than regular books.

Lower tariff in France and Luxembourg

The European Commission had started the case against France and Luxembourg because both countries only apply minimal VAT rates (3 and 5.5 %) on its eBook sales. The court has now ruled in favour of the European Commission and stated lower tariffs are only possible of physical books are sold.

 

The European Court says lower VAT rates are not possible for any electronically-enabled service. It acknowledges physical support is required to read eBooks (through an e-reader or tablet), but as that is not supplied with the purchase, it does not make eBooks eligible for an exception.

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