Reducing VAT rates on e-publication in the EU

Impact: Public policy

Description of impact

Reduced VAT rate for books are common across the EU. France and Luxembourg introduced a reduced VAT rate for e-books in 2012. However, in 2015 the Court of Justice of the European Union ruled that e-books supplied via download or streaming are a service and therefore fall outside of the VAT exemption.

Myself at SDU and as a part of the RICHES Consortium have been at the forefront of research and discussion related to reduced VAT rates on e-publications and have been lobbying for these rates over the years 2015-2018.

My work included policy briefs, policy reports, chapters commissioned by cultural ministries, academic publications, media dissemination, presentations at policy seminars in Brussels and Berlin, a public talk in Paris to the Ministry of Culture and Communication, and academic presentations.

My argument was to establish VAT rate based on the content and not the carrier.

The implementation of reduced VAT rates on e-publications in 2018 is a tremendous success that supports European creative industries, the digital sector in the EU and increases cultural consumption (book reading), which is associated with significant positive externalities.
Impact date20152018
Category of impactPublic policy