EU opinion on e-book VAT

Mon 12th Sep 2016

The European Court of Justice’s (ECJ) Advocate General (AG) has declared that the current EU practice of denying e-books the benefit of reduced VAT granted to printed books is compatible with the principle of equal treatment. This was on the basis of the method of physical distribution – e-books and printed books are provided via differing means.

The opinion follows a review request from the Polish Constitutional Court. In addition to e-books, the opinion covers online newspapers and journals.

AG opinions are not binding on the ECJ. The European Commission is planning to introduce legislation next month permitting states to charge reduced VAT rate on e-books sometime in 2017.