Click on each country to read more information if applicable.

green-map-printed-book-colour Zero-rate or have no VAT. green-map-printed-book-colour Zero rate on printed books.

green-map-printed-book-colour Reduced VAT rate on printed books. green-map-printed-book-colour Standard rate of VAT to printed books.

Albania

For books a special VAT regime is applied.  So, In the book production (in printing) publishers pay 20% VAT of the production cost.  While, when publishers sell the book to the bookshops, book distributors, or directly to readers the VAT rate is 0%. Therefore, VAT as a reimbursable tax does not function as such in Albania. So, it is a tax that burdens only on publishers, consequently on books.

Angola

In Angola there is no VAT in goods. Goods are taxed when they enter the country, as almost everything is imported.

Argentina

Austria

Australia

Some items such as food are not subject to GST.

Belgium

Bulgaria

Brazil

Different states apply different rates.

Canada

Switzerland

Chile

The electronic book is recognized as part of the new National Book and Lecture Policy (2015-2020), presented by the Minister of Culture last April. This new Policy does not include any change in the VAT situation.

China

Colombia

Exemptions for scientific and cultural content.

Cyprus

Czech Republic

Germany

Denmark

Algeria

Ecuador

Estonia

Egypt

Spain

Finland

France

United Kingdom

Ghana

Exemptions for educational content.

Greece

Croatia

Hungary

Indonesia

Ireland

Israel

In israel there is one VAT rate: 18 % on all products and services except on fruits and vegetables.

India

We have heard some issues relating to online subscription of e-journals. There e journals are being charged under service tax and attract service tax.

Iceland

Italy

Jordan

Japan

Kenya

Abolished zero rate on books in 2013.

South Korea

Lebanon

Lithuania

Luxembourg

Latvia

Madagascar

Mongolia

Newspapers are VAT exempt, not books.

Mexico

Malaysia

Mozambique

According with the VAT Code, there is an exemption for the transmission of goods related to education and professional training. It does not state exactly books and ebooks, but can be interpreted as including these type of goods. However, suchexemptionsareonly applicable in the entity doing the transmission is public entities or private entities duly recognized by the Ministry of Education.

Nigeria

Netherlands

Norway

New Zealand

It isn’t levied on goods purchased by the consumer from overseas unless the tax due amounts to $60, so that excludes print and digital sales of almost all direct imports.

Peru

Sale of Books NO apply VAT , it is exempt but in these moments the Book Law in Perú is beeing negociated in the Parliament to extend it so that due in 10th October.

Philippines

Poland

Portugal

Qatar

Romania

Republic of Serbia

Russia

Reduced 10% rate for education, science and culture titles.

Saudi Arabia

Sweden

Slovenia

Slovakia

Thailand

Book is 0% but there is 7% VAT for printing so publishers have to absorb it.

Tunisia

Turkey

Taiwan

Tanzania

Standard VAT is applicable to all Non-textbooks; a VAT exemption certificate must be  presented to the  printer for every textbook that is printed.

Ukraine

For books published in Ukraine, except for erotic content.

Uruguay

Venezuela

Vietnam

0% for selected categories of educational, legal and national heritage books, otherwise 5%.

South Africa

Attempts by publishers’ and booksellers’ Associations to get government to zero rate VAT on books and ebooks failed last year.

Zambia

Our standard rate is 16% but we are fortunate as books are exempt so no VAT on books.Regarding e-books I am not sure as people probably download from overseas sites so obviously there is no VAT.I would assume that there would be no VAT if available locally.

Northern Cyprus

Hong Kong

Malta

Singapore

Parcels shipping from overseas with a value of less than S$ 400 are exempt from GST, so a high percentage of shipments form Amazon and Book Depository are free of GST. This applies for all goods.

Printed Books and VAT/GST

In the EU-27, while 92.6% of the countries surveyed apply a special VAT treatment to printed books (in most cases a reduced VAT rate), only 7.4% apply a zero VAT rate (UK and Ireland).

In Latin America, while 50% of the countries surveyed apply a VAT/GST exemption to (a selection of) printed books, only 25% apply a 0% VAT/GST rate to printed books. And 12.5% apply a mix of a VAT/GST exemption and a zero VAT/GST rate.

In the case of a VAT/GST exemption, publishers, as final consumers, cannot claim a VAT refund on the supplies of goods or services needed to produce books. As a result VAT/ GST becomes a production cost, which automatically increases the price of books. A zero VAT/GST rate on books is therefore preferable to a VAT exemption. A zero rate provides the necessary support for the entire publishing chain, from author to publishers, bookshops and libraries. As the zero rating of books makes people more eager to buy books, it is one of the most effective ways of promoting book culture, literacy and reading. As a result, it is very likely to have a positive effect on cultural and educational policy, freedom of expression, and the creation of new independent publishing businesses. Ultimately, a zero VAT/GST rate means the creation of jobs and the development of a knowledge economy. This reasoning also applies to e-books, which should therefore be equally supported.

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