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02 March 2021

VAT on e-books to be abolished

12 March 2020

The government announced in the 2020 Budget that it will introduce legislation to apply a zero rate of VAT to e-publications from 1 December 2020, which will make it clear that e-books, e-newspapers, e-magazines and academic e-journals are entitled to the same VAT treatment as their physical counterparts.

The government also said that it expects the publishing industry, including e-booksellers, to pass on the benefit of this relief to consumers. It should benefit all who read digitally, including children from poorer backgrounds: nearly 1 in 4 pupils on free school meals read fiction digitally, compared to 1 in 6 of their peers who are not eligible for free school meals.

See the UK Government Budget Statement of 11 March 2020, paragraph 1.52.

See also the articles of 11 March 2020 in The Bookseller and on the BBC website.