VAT - Supply of digital books electronically and supply of books on all physical means of support


Paris counsel Sophie Dorin, an expert in VAT and Indirect tax, has written an article on the CJEU Case C-390/15 “Rzecznik PrawObywatelskich” (RPO).

In this case, the Court has judged that there is a difference in treatment — resulting from Article 98(2) of Directive 2006/112 as amended, read in conjunction with point 6 of Annex III — between the supply of digital books electronically and the supply of books on all physical means of support. However, the principle of equal treatment is not infringed as this difference is duly justified. The court therefore confirms that, as regards to the current EU VAT Directive, the Member States cannot apply a reduced VAT rate to the supply of digital books electronically. 

However, since the 1st December 2016, the European Commission has proposed to grant all Member States the possibility to apply the same VAT rates to electronically supplied publication vis a proposal for a Council Directive amending the EU VAT Directive as regards VAT rates applied to books, newspapers and periodicals. This proposal of Directive is in line with the Council conclusions and the commitment in its 2016 Action Plan on VAT.

Her article was published in a French Magazine “La Lettre d’Option Droit & affaires”. Click here to read the article in French (subscribers only) >>