The European Commission has published a summary report on its public consultation with regards to reduced VAT rates. One of the most critical issues seems to be the current application of reduced VAT rates to e-books in some Member States, compared to number of other Member States that apply standard rates. This different VAT treatment results in distortion of competition between Member States. Most of the comments requested the equal VAT treatment of printed books and e-books. In case a VAT reduced rate is applicable for printed books, this should be applicable to e-books as well.
The second topic which grabbed my attention are the various comments regarding the definition of electronic services that would qualify for a reduced rate. If such a definition is too broadly worded in the VAT Directive, it may not allow to make precise distinction for the application of reduced rates. However, these electronic services should qualify in an uniform way throughout the EU, so a precise description seems to be absolutely needed.
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