The European Union has decided after years of debate that member states may lower the value-added-tax (VAT) rate on ebooks to the same rate they charge for printed books (which are tax free in some countries). The October 2, 2018 decision by the Economic and Financial Affairs Council is “the final step to ensure that the unequal treatment of the two products – paper versus digital – becomes a thing of the past,” according the EU Commission. The prior minimum VAT on ebooks was 15%. The minimum for print books is generally five percent, but some countries were permitted to charge less or sell books tax-free (notably the UK).
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