Since the European Council agreed to allow member states to apply a reduced VAT rate to electronic publications in October 2018 (1), VAT rates for eBooks have changed fast in EU countries.

2019 has witnessed several VAT rate updates for e-publications where numerous countries have reduced the levy on eBooks, so in order to clarify the current situation we provide the following summary with the updated rates.

Scope: Supply, including on loan by libraries, of books, newspapers and periodicals either on physical means of support or supplied electronically or both (including brochures, leaflets and similar printed matter, children’s picture, drawing or colouring books, music printed or in manuscript form, maps and hydrographic or similar charts), other than publications wholly or predominantly devoted to advertising and other than publications wholly or predominantly consisting of video content or audible music;’. 

Country Previous rate New rate Date
Belgium 21% 6% 1 April 2019
Czech Republic 21% 10% 1 July 2019
Croatia 25% 5% 1 January 2019
Finland 24% 10% 1 July 2019
Ireland 23% 9% 1 January 2019
Lithuania 21% 5% 1 January 2019
Luxembourg 17% 3% 1 January 2019
Malta 18% 5% 1 January 2019
Norway (non-EU) 25% 0% 1 July 2019
Poland 23% 5% 1 April 2019
Portugal 23% 6% 1 January 2019
Sweden 25% 6% 1 July 2019

The following following changes are expected for next year: 

Country Previous rate New rate Date
Austria 20% 10% 1 January 2020
Germany 19% 7% 1 January 2020
Netherlands 21% 9% 1 January 2020
Spain 21% 4% 1 January 2020

 

If you believe these developments impact your business and would like further advice, please contact us.