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 e-publications where numerous countries have reduced the levy on eBooks.

In this new year 2020 new countries started or are planning to apply a reduce rate for eBooks.

Country Previous rate New rate Date
Austria 20% 10% 1 January 2020
Czech Republic 21% 10% 1 April/May 2020
Germany 19% 7% 1 January 2020
Netherlands 21% 9% 1 January 2020
Spain 21% 4% 1 January 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 Previous rate New rate Date
Belgium 21% 6% 1 April 2019
Croatia 25% 5% 1 January 2019
Finland 24% 10% 1 July 2019
Ireland 23% 9% 1 January 2019
Luxembourg 17% 3% 1 May 2019
Malta 18% 5% 1 January 2019
Norway (non-EU) 25% 0% 1 July 2019
Poland 23% 5% 1 November 2019
Portugal 23% 6% 1 January 2019
Sweden 25% 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.