VAT rates for eBooks 2020 – May update

Apr 30, 2020 | Digital Services, VAT Updates

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 witnessed several VAT rate updates for ePublications where numerous countries have reduced the levy on eBooks.

In this new year 2020 not only new countries started or are planning to apply a reduce rate for eBooks, but the current COVD-19 situation has pushed governments to move forward the dates for reducing VAT on eBooks and other ePublications.

For example, as of 1st May 2020, the UK will scrap VAT for this type of ePublications to make reading more accessible while people stay at home.

Find below the latest changes to VAT rates on eBooks, eMagazines and other ePublications. 

Country VAT rate Date
Austria 10% 1 January 2020
Czech Republic 10% 1 May 2020
Germany 7% 1 January 2020
Netherlands 9% 1 January 2020
Spain 4% 23 April 2020
United Kigdom 0% 1 May 2020
Estonia 9% 1 May 2020

In addition to the countries that have or will introduce a reduce VAT rate on eBooks, there are other countries that have already established the same approach back in 2019. Find below these countries and the applicable VAT rate.

Country VAT rate Date
Belgium 6% 1 April 2019
Croatia 5% 1 January 2019
Finland 10% 1 July 2019
Ireland 9% 1 January 2019
Luxembourg 3% 1 May 2019
Malta 5% 1 January 2019
Norway (non-EU) 0% 1 July 2019
Poland 5% 1 November 2019
Portugal 6% 1 January 2019
Sweden 6% 1 July 2019


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;’.


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


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