If you live in Europe and worry about the high cost of e-books, you are not alone. The average digital title is charged 15% VAT, while print is 5% or zero. There is a large movement to change the existing VAT policy and allow member states to set their own rates.
Last week the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee voted on the VAT issue and it was successfully passed with with 48 votes to one, with two abstentions. The final step is an official vote by Parliament on May 31st and if the vote is successful, it means that e-book prices will fall within the next six months.
“Our way of reading has changed rapidly over recent years. Now, it makes no sense to apply a double standard whereby an online newspaper is taxed higher than a printed one you buy in a shop. This new directive will give Member States the option to align VAT on digital content with printed matter,” said the Tom Vandenkendelaere.
Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past ten years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times.