It’s one of those anomalies. Whilst printed matter such as books and newspapers have long been zero rated for VAT purposes in the UK, ebooks haven’t. But this seems set to change if an EU vote goes ahead this week.
A Polish proposal would see the VAT on ebooks harmonised across the UK and end UK ebook sales attracting 20% VAT. Other countries already have lower rates of VAT for ebooks. In France printed books and ebooks are both taxed at 5.5 per cent and in Luxembourg it’s 3 per cent.
The vote takes pace this week and is expected to pass. However, whether the VAT decrease will be passed onto consumers is yet to be seen. Watch this space.