Finland opts for 24% VAT for books on CD or memory stick

Tue 13th Jan 2015

Following an European Court of Justice ruling (K Oy case (C-219/19) that countries were potential free to charge reduced VAT rates on CD or memory stick books, Finland has opted to charge its higher, standard VAT rate of 24%. In Finland, printed books are subject to 10% Finnish VAT.

The decision means that Finland will not take the opportunity to follow countries such as Italy, Malta, Luxembourg and France is harmonising their printed and e-book VAT rates. Finland concluded that since CDs or memory sticks do not carry the same physical attributes as printed books, they were not entitled to a reduction through the listing on Appendix III of the EU VAT Directive. The Finnish Supreme Court also ruled that the principle of fiscal neutrality was not undermined.

The European Commission is currently pursuing a case in the ECJ against France and Luxembourg for charging 5.5% and 3%, respectively, reduced VAT rates on e-books.

Germany has recently categorized audio books on CD or memory stick at reduced VAT rates.