eBooks Taxed in Europe

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L. McMaken
12-9-11
Cincinnati, OH

Over the last few months, Amazon has been opening Kindle Stores in Europe. While eReaders are not nearly as popular in Europe as they are in the U.S., the taxes on eBooks are significantly higher.  In fact, they are currently taxed higher then traditional paper books. Italy taxes printed books at 4%, eBooks at 20% and Spain taxes eBooks at 18%.

In a report from the New York Times they stated: “Across most of Europe, eBooks are taxed at full national value-added rates, which reach 25 percent of Sweden, Denmark, Hungary, and other countries. Printed books, benefiting from an industry lobby, are taxed at a fraction of the full rates and not at all in Britain.”

Booksellers like Amazon and eBook publishers are currently working to change those rates. France announced they are changing the tax on eBooks there to 5.5%, the same as on print books beginning in 2012.