Members of the European Parliament have voted overwhelmingly (48 to 1) to allow e-books to benefit from the reduced rates of VAT that currently apply to most printed books. It will be up to each individual Member State to decide whether to adopt a reduced rate which could see the UK applying a zero-rate in order to align the treatment of e-books to that of printed books.
Reduced rates have been adopted in a number of EU countries for some time (e.g. Luxembourg 3%, France 5.5%). The book industry and suppliers of e-books in the UK will no doubt be anxious to hear what the Government and HMRC’s decision
However, a final decision on this may still be some months away as the Czech Republic objected to any changes being implemented until a wider review of digital services has taken place.