The UK Government has the opportunity to overturn an illogical and manifestly unfair tax system that discriminates against digital readers.
Historically EU legislation has prohibited zero-rating VAT on ebooks and epublications. So while the UK’s VAT regime has rightly exempted printed books, magazines and newspapers from VAT since the 1970s, a 20% tax on reading and on knowledge in the digital world has continued to be levied at Brussels’ behest.
This backward looking tax affects us all – not least the public institutions who end up paying millions of pounds in VAT to read digital publications and those in our society who rely on ebooks to make reading more accessible.
But now is the time to right this wrong. Common sense has prevailed and the EU has finally agreed that Member States will have the flexibility to set their own VAT rates on ebooks and epublications. As a nation of best-selling authors and voracious readers, it’s only appropriate that we take the lead. The UK risks falling behind the rest of Europe if we don’t act fast.
Do you agree that the Chancellor should axe the reading tax in his upcoming Budget? Make sure your MP knows about it and sign our petition here.