Good news for everyone who likes to read: European finance ministers paved the way for the equal tax treatment of digital media at the meeting of the EU’s Economic and Financial Affairs Council (ECOFIN) on 2 October 2018. The reduced rate of value added tax (VAT) can now be applied to e-books and e-newspapers. Previously, it could only be applied to print media.

The digital revolution is making great strides, and it’s time that our tax laws kept pace with changing technology. I am delighted that we have reached an agreement in Europe to apply the same reduced VAT rate to e-books and e-newspapers we apply to printed books and newspapers. This is a goal that I have worked towards for a long time. Today, we European finance ministers have paved the way for the equal tax treatment of digital media. This is good news for everyone who likes to read. As German finance minister, I will make sure that the rate of VAT on e-books and e-newspapers in Germany is swiftly reduced to 7 percent. Today, we need reliable and well-researched information more urgently than ever – irrespective of whether it is in printed or electronic form. Olaf Scholz, German Finance Minister

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