European and International Booksellers Federation

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CAMPAIGN AGAINST CULTURAL FLAT RATE

JOINT LETTER FROM THE PRESIDENT OF THE EUROPEAN BOOKSELLERS FEDERATION AND THE PRESIDENT OF THE FEDERATION OF EUROPEAN PUBLISHERS ON CULTURAL FLAT RATE

A proposal to apply what its sponsors called a “cultural flat rate” was defeated recently in the European Parliament. The cultural flat rate is a proposed tax on all internet users. The funds thus raised would be administered by a collective body (less its administration costs) and disbursed to rights holders to compensate them for piracy and other breaches of copyright. The Federation of European Publishers and the European Booksellers Federation welcome the defeat of this proposal.

It offends free market principles and the practice of copyright law.

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EBF Position Paper on VAT – Don’t tax reading!

DON’T TAX READING !

The VAT rate applied to printed books by Member States throughout the European Union (EU) currently varies from 0% to 25%. The Customs and Taxation Directorate within the European Commission is currently developing plans to harmonise VAT rates throughout the EU. Indications suggest that in the future Member States may be instructed to allocate a VAT rate of not less than 15% on almost all products and services. However, EU countries may well be able to impose a reduced rate of not less than 5% on a small number of items, including printed books.

Grateful as we are to the possibility that printed books may be allocated a lower tax band, the European Booksellers Federation strongly believes that printed books should not be taxed at all throughout the EU in the future, and that under the harmonisation arrangements, any Member State that wishes to allocate a 0% VAT rate for printed books should be allowed to do so.

Moreover, EBF feels that electronic books should be treated in the same way. A printed book and electronic book of the same title will have the same content and purpose’.Read more