News Media Europe

Press Release: EU allows for reduced VAT rates for e-publications

Press releases , October 2, 2018

Brussels, 2 October 2018 

EU Finance Ministers agreed today in Luxembourg to amend the existing EU VAT directive to allow Member States to apply lower VAT rates to e-publications such as electronic books, newspapers and periodicals.

Currently, Member States apply different VAT rates for printed content, which can be subject to reduced rates, while the same content in digital format is taxed at the standard VAT rate. This long-awaited step now allows Member States to apply the same VAT rate for online content as printed content, saving the European news media industry millions of euros annually.

Fernando de Yarza, President of News Media Europe, commented: “Today, European leaders have recognised the need to modernise the VAT framework in light of the ongoing digitisation of Europe’s news media industry. We strive to continue bringing quality content in print and online to European citizens”.

News Media Europe now urges Member States to implement measures as soon as possible to reduce the VAT rate for online content.

About News Media Europe:

News Media Europe (NME) represents the progressive news media industry in Europe –  over 2200 European news brands in print or online, and also on radio and tv. NME is committed to maintaining and promoting the freedom of the press, to upholding and enhancing the freedom to publish, and to championing the news brands which are one of the most vital parts of Europe’s creative industries.

For further information please contact:

Wout van Wijk, Executive Director,