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Government must support cut to tax on reading and learning

Publishers have today called for the UK government to support new powers that would allow VAT to be removed on ebooks, audio books and online newspaper and magazine subscriptions in the UK.

At a European Union meeting today (Friday), Finance ministers will discuss new proposals that would allow all member states to reduce the amount of VAT they apply to epublications, or not to tax them at all.

In the UK this would mean a 20% reduction in the tax currently applied to digital publications which is not applied to print versions. 

Stephen Lotinga, CEO of the Publishers Association, said: “The government must do everything it can to cut the unfair tax on ebooks, magazine and newspaper online subscriptions. 

“It makes no sense in the modern world that readers are being penalised with an additional 20% tax for choosing to embrace digital.

“Whether a book, newspaper or magazine is electronic does not change the principle that we should not be taxing reading and learning. 

“This would also show the world that the UK is really serious about building a forward-thinking digital economy.”

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