E-books across Europe aren’t about to get any cheaper. The European Commission has ruled that they can’t be classified as goods and qualify for the lower sales tax levied on paper books.
The decision is a result of legal action taken by the Commission against France and Luxembourg after it emerged that they had been offering discounted tax rates on e-books since 2012. [new par] The court ruled that e-books count as a service rather than goods, because you require a device to read them.
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This means that the tax rates will go up to 20 percent in France and 17 percent in Luxembourg – that’s a rise of 5.5 and 3 percent respectively. The countries may also have to cover the costs of the illegal tax break.