IPA FEP VAT report cover

Following legislative change in the European Union (EU) on 2 October 2018, EU Member States can align the VAT rates for eBooks and audiobooks with physical books. A number of countries have been quick of the mark but in others publishers are campaigning hard.

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The International Publishers Association welcomes the news that the EU’s Economic and Financial Affairs Council has unanimously agreed to allow Member States to apply reduced VAT rates to eBooks, bringing them into alignment with physical books, which in most cases carried a lower rate.

The IPA has welcomed a progressive new law announced in the United Arab Emirates on Monday (31 October) that exempts reading materials from VAT and entitles employees to read during working hours.


The International Publishers Association (IPA) and Federation of European Publishers (FEP) Annual Global Report on VAT on Books 2016 was released today during the IPA’s General Assembly, which takes place every October during Frankfurt Book Fair.


Kenyan lawmakers will this week decide whether to scrap the 16% VAT rate imposed on books in the country, three years after the disastrous levy was introduced.


After 1 April 2017 (not an April Fools’ joke), the overall Japanese Consumption Tax rate in will rise to 10%. The plan is to maintain the consumption tax on food and home delivery of newspapers at 8%, while books, magazines and newspapers purchased at newsstands and their e-versions will be taxed at 10%. The Japanese Government is currently investigating the possibility of applying the reduced tax rate for books and magazines.

photo by Emmanuelle Magnenat

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