HomeInsightsEU VAT reform: Press publishers in Europe respond to public consultation on reduced VAT rates for electronically supplied publications.

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The European Newspaper Publishers’ Association (ENPA) and the European Magazine Media Association (EMMA) have responded to the public consultation launched by the European Commission on reduced VAT rates for electronically supplied publications.

ENPA says that the consultation paves the way for the Commission’s upcoming proposal that would allow Member States to apply the same zero, super reduced or reduced VAT rates applicable for printed newspapers and magazines to digital publications.  In its reply to the public consultation, ENPA and EMMA reiterated the urgent need for such a change in the VAT legislation.

ENPA says that on 6 May 2015, European Commission President Juncker made a speech at the BDZV congress in Brussels, in which he declared support for a reduction of VAT on the digital press and stated that the Commission would come forward with a proposal.  This has recently been confirmed by Commissioner Moscovici who highlighted the Commission’s plan to present a proposal by the end of 2016 allowing Member States to lower VAT rates for the digital press.

In their joint submission, ENPA and EMMA highlighted the positive economic benefit of change for the sustainability of press publishing companies and for responding to increasing demand of readers for professional journalistic content and innovative services in the digital environment.  Publishers would be able to keep a high level of investment in editorial content whilst maintaining the lowest possible price for readers.

Finally, the press-publishing sector in Europe plays a key-role in education and literacy at a time when society, especially the young generation, is increasingly reading news on all digital platforms.  Reducing VAT on the digital press would improve accessibility to pluralistic and diverse press content, which is crucial for safeguarding Europe’s democratic values, media pluralism and cultural diversity.  To read ENPA’s press release in full, click here.