Magazines Ireland and the European Magazine Media Association (EMMA) have stated that they regret the outcome of the Economic and Financial Affairs Council meeting on 16 June, which ended without agreement on the adoption of the proposal to amend the existing EU VAT directive, which would have allowed Member States to apply reduced VAT rates to digital publications.
The two organizations have long argued for the ability to apply the reduced, super-reduced or zero VAT rates currently available for printed products to digital offers.
Ciaran Casey, Chairman, Magazines Ireland commented, "Magazines Ireland believes that the application of VAT should be platform neutral and rates applied to printed magazines should apply equally to digital editions.
"EU decision-makers are increasing the administrative burdens faced by publishers by continuing to make a distinction between print and digital VAT rates and limiting our ability to invest in high-quality content that is available on all platforms."
Auke Visser, EMMA President added, "Europe’s VAT regime needs to reflect this reality by allowing Member States to determine whether or not they apply the reduced rates offered to print publications also to digital offers.
"The lack of agreement in the Council is a frustrating set-back that forces EU and national decision makers to apply a differential treatment between the printed and digital press."
The current VAT Directive (2006/112) allows for reduced-rates to be applied only to printed versions of magazines and newspapers at EU level, meaning that digital publications must apply the full VAT rate. Since people increasingly access content on mobile and digital devices, many believe the current directive no longer reflects the reality of the market that magazines and newspapers operate within.
© 2017 - Checkout Magazine by Jenny Whelan