On 25 May 2016, the Council of the EU (ECOFIN) adopted conclusions on the VAT Action Plan “Towards a single EU VAT area”, published on 7 April by the European Commission. The Council notably “INVITES the Commission to present a legislative proposal which integrates provisions concerning VAT rates for e-publications in the context of Digital Single Market initiatives by the end of 2016 and include an impact assessment”.
Newspaper and magazine publishers welcome this statement, which supports the European Commission announcement to come out with a legislative proposal by the end of the year. As announced by President Juncker in May 2015, this proposal should allow Member States to apply the same reduced rates existing on printed newspapers, magazines and books to digital publications.
According to the Sixth VAT Directive, Member States can apply reduced rates to the printed press while they have to apply the standard VAT rate to the digital press. This situation does not make sense at a time where more and more citizens read press content indifferently on all existing platforms and devices, be it on paper, Internet, mobile, tablet or social media.
ENPA and EMMA have therefore long been calling for a reform of the VAT system that would modernise the rules and take into account today´s reality. We expect from this change a boost for the development of attractive digital press offers, an eased access for citizens to press products of their choice, and a positive impact on the economy, employment and democracy.
EMMA and ENPA will continue supporting the institutions in their intention to adapt the VAT rules to the digital world and allow for reduced, super-reduced and zero VAT rates for the printed and digital press.
For further information contact:
European Affairs Manager, EMMA
+32 2 536 06 08