EU Commission Answer - Follow-up in response to changes to the VAT Directive as regards rates of VAT applied to books, newspapers and periodicals

Commission response

See question(s) : E-003207/2017 

11 July 2017

Answer given by Mr Moscovici on behalf of the Commission

The Commission proposal on value added tax (VAT) rates applied to books, newspapers and periodicals(1) was adopted on 1 December 2016 and negotiations on the text are still ongoing(2). It is a targeted proposal, which authorises Member States, without obligation, to align the reduced VAT rates they currently apply to books, newspapers or periodicals to electronically supplied publications.

The monitoring at EU level takes place as part of the review of the scope of reduced rates in line with Article 100 of the VAT Directive(3). To this extent, information is collected in respect of the VAT rates in place in each Member State.

Such information is currently published by the Commission in the document ‘VAT rates applied in the Member States of the European Union’(4), which primarily serves as an information tool for researchers, businesses and final consumers.

In future, with the implementation of a definitive VAT regime, such information should be collected on a mandatory and standardised basis. A web portal could provide accurate, timely and binding information on the reduced VAT rates in place in each Member State.


Proposal for a Council Directive amending Directive 2006/112/EC, as regards rates of value added tax applied to books, newspapers and periodicals (COM (2016) 758 of 1.12.2016) .



Council Directive 2006/112/EC of 28 November 2006 on the common system of value added tax (OJ L 347, 11.12.2006, p. 1)


Last updated: 11 July 2017


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