Tag Archives: Finland

Finland – Supreme Administrative Court decision on the VAT treatment of non-printed books after the ECJ decision (K Oy – C-219/13)

2015 seems to start with book related VAT news in the EU. After the ECJ’s judgment in the K Oy case (C-219/13) which we previously discussed, the Finnish Supreme Administrative Court (“SAC”) delivered its ruling at the end of December. The SAC held that the standard Finnish VAT rate (currently 24%) applies to books on other physical means of support such as a CD, CD-ROM or memory stick.The ECJ left it to the national courts to decide whether fiscal neutrality (i.e. the same VAT treatment) is applicable to printed books and books published on other physical means. Even though the ECJ judgment also appreciated that this can also be impacted by the level of penetration of new technologies in the various EU Member States.

The SAC followed the argumentation of the ECJ and held that books on other physical means of support are not similar to printed books. According to the Finnish court the other physical means do not satisfy the same needs of the average consumer and therefore they cannot be subject to the reduced VAT rate. The SAC argues that books on physical means of support have a closer link to e-books downloadable from the internet, to which reduced VAT rates cannot be applied based on the EU legislation. As a result the SAC concluded that the different VAT treatment of printed books and books on other physical means of support does not offend the principle of fiscal neutrality.

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Czech Republic and Finland: VAT rates increasses now official

Some time ago, we have announced that Finland and Czech Republic are planning to increase their VAT rates on 1 January 2013. This has indeed come to fruition as reported; both countries have increased all their VAT rates by 1% as of today morning.

Some more info can be found here and here. Please remember, Cyprus also plans to increase its VAT rates soon.

P.S. and without being cynical in any way: We wish you all a happy and most successful 2013!

Finland: Proposed increase of VAT rates as of 1 January 2013

The Finnish government has recently proposed to have both the reduced and the standard VAT rates increased by 1%. According to the proposal the standard rate would increase from 23% to 24% and the lower rates of 9% and 13% to 10% and 14% respectively.

The proposal is yet to be adopted by the Finnish Parliament. This will probably take place in December 2012 to have the rate hikes incorporated before the expected effective date of 1 January 2013.

What does this mean for you?

If you are registered for VAT in Finland or are a non-EU company supplying B2C e-services to Finnish residents under the one-stop-shop scheme, you will need to be ready to update your ERP system and VAT codes.