Tag Archives: European Commission

EU Parliament voted for reduced rate on e-books

The European Parliament has backed, by 590 votes to 8 with 10 abstentions, the EU Commission’s proposal to bring the VAT treatment of electronic publications into line with those publications to which the Member States can apply a reduced rate. The proposal now requires unanimous approval by the EU Council.

You can find further Information on the vote in the attached proposal (see below link) and on the European Parliament’s Website.

Reduced rate on e-books

Italy – reduced VAT rate of 4% on e-books from 1 January 2015

The Italian Parliament passed the 2015 Finance Law on 22 December, which applies the 4% VAT rate to e-books as of 1 January 2015. According to the legislation any publication that is identified by an ISBN code (International Standard Book Number) and transmitted through any physical or electronic means, should be considered as a book and as a result subject to the 4% reduced VAT rate.

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EU 2015 VAT Changes: EU Commission published Explanatory Notes on the new VAT rules

On 4 April, the European Commission has published Explanatory Notes to prepare businesses for the new VAT rules for telecom, broadcasting and electronic services, which will enter into force on 1 January 2015.

The aim is to help businesses to be fully prepared on time for the change-over, whereby VAT on telecom, broadcasting and electronic services will be charged where the customer is based, rather than where the seller is.

The Explanatory Notes are available on the EU Commission’s website in English (click link). (It will later be translated in all EU languages, as well as in Chinese and Japanese.)

We will discuss the key provisions and critical issues of the EU Commission’s Explanatory Notes with businesses, delegates of the Member States and the Commission during our next B2C 2015 Working Group meeting in Brussels, on 23 April 2014.

EU: Practical guidelines for businesses on new VAT rules for telecommunications, broadcasting and eservices

The EU Commission has published practical guidelines on the mini-one-stop-shop to prepare businesses for the new B2C VAT rules for telecoms, broadcasting and eservices, which will enter into force with 1 January 2015.

The aim is to help businesses to be fully prepared on time for the change-over, whereby VAT will be charged in the country where the customer is based.VAT will have to be collected by all providers of telecom, broadcasting and eservices, regardless whether they are established inside or outside of the EU. Find out more

EU: Results of public consultation on the review of the existing legislation on VAT reduced rates published

The results of the public consultation on the review of the existing legislation on VAT reduced rates are now available online.

A total of 333 contributions were received and the greatest number of submissions originated from Belgium (76), followed by those from Germany (65), France (52) and the United Kingdom (48).

The EU Commission’s summary report as well as an index and the individual contributions can be consulted via this TAXUD page (click-through to CIRCABC). Find out more

EU Commission refers France and Luxembourg to the European Court of Justice over reduced VAT rates on ebooks

As reported, France and Luxembourg have started to apply reduced and super reduced VAT rates to ebooks without obtaining an approval from the rest of EU. This gave them competitive edge over the rest of the EU countries, as companies which were selling ebooks to their EU B2C customers from those two countries could sell them at the lowest available VAT rates (3% for sales from Luxembourg and 5% for sales from France). This (in words of Commissioner Šemeta, responsible for taxation) “runs counter to the fundamental EU principle of fair tax competition.”

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EU: ebooks infrigement procedure – second act

As you are probably aware, France and Luxembourg have on 1 January 2012 started to tax the sales of ebooks at reduced VAT rate instead of applying the standard VAT rate. This means that ebusinesses selling ebooks through a sales entity in Luxembourg were able to tax them at 3% rate instead of 15% and in France at 7% rate (5,5% as of 1 January 2013) instead of 19,6%.

The EU Commission in its role of the guardian of the EU Treaties and legislation does not agree with the unilateral decision of France and Luxembourg and has therefore initiated a formal infringement procedure and has in July 2012 send them a Letter of Formal Notice.

A very good and conveniently brief explanation on the infringement procedure and its implications can be found here.

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