The decision of the European Commission to give France a formal notice concerning the application of the reduced rate of VAT to the eBook was expected. The Commission considered that, in the present state of the law, the benefit of the reduced rate is only available to books printed in physical form, even though the French legislator has extended it, as of 1 January 2012, to books available by download.
On the other hand, the Government wishes to promote the
market and the digital book sector. However, taxation must not hinder
the current rise of the digital book. Legally, the principle of neutrality
should ensure equivalent treatment for books available through
for printed books, as soon as they
the same content. This principle requires that two goods
may not be subject to a different tax treatment. France
is therefore in favour of applying the reduced rate on the e-book
precisely when the market is being structured.
France will take advantage of the opening period to present its arguments,
The European Parliament, which is responsible for the implementation of the Single European Act and the Single European Act.
In its communication on the future of VAT, published on 6 December 2011, the
The Commission itself has acknowledged the legitimacy of this debate, stressing
the importance of the technological neutrality of the VAT system. Several
Commissioners have spoken out strongly on this point. The
European Parliament voted twice by a large majority in
that sense. So this is an important issue.
France will continue its work of argumentation and persuasion
to the Commission and its partners.