VAT on books and magazines

At present printed books and magazines sold within the EU are VAT exempt (in most countries). It is odd that digital versions of those same books are taxed for VAT as though they were cars or carpets. According to the Bookseller, reporting on a proposed EU directive, audiobooks will soon also be VAT-exempt. Fedrico Motta Chairman of the Federation of European Publishers expresses the hope that this will soon mean that digital books (and presumably magazines) will also soon be exempt.

It would be very strange if they were to continue to be treated differently. Especially since digital editions have a much smaller carbon footprint than the printed alternative. It really is very odd that they are taxed when the eco-heavy versions are tax exempt. It is also bizarre because it places EU digital publishers at a disadvantage compared to their American or Mexican competitors.

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