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Poland fights EU over VAT on e-books

PR dla Zagranicy
Jo Harper 23.07.2015 15:11
While the tax rate on physical copies of books in Poland is five percent, e-book buyers online pay 23 percent. Polish judges want to know why.
Photo: sxc.huPhoto: sxc.hu

Polish judges from the Constitutional Tribunal have asked the Polish case to be interpreted by the European Court of Justice. They suggest that the list of products has not been fully consulted with the European Parliament.

The list, they argue, may undermine the rule of "tax neutrality" that imposes different taxes on the same product, depending on its format, the daily Gazeta Wyborcza notes.

Each country in the EU is entitled to set its own tax rate, but tax relief can only be used with certain products that are listed by the EU directive.

France and Luxembourg have bypassed the list altogether, imposing lower taxes on electronic versions of books. In March the EU reiterated that e-books are a "service" and not a "product" and demanded both countries use the base tax rate.

After the decision, Minister of Culture Małgorzata Omilanowska called on the European Commission to immediately start working on a directive that would make electronic and traditional books legally equal. Omilanowska has been backed by her counterparts from France, Germany and Italy. (tf/jh)

tags: e-books, tax
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