6869765923_307afdd67c_nDoubt that too many politicians are Luddites at heart—or listen to entrenched industries, at the expense of progress?

Well, ponder this. E-books suffer taxes twice as high as those of paper books, if you go by a 79-country  survey.

Here’s the lowdown as summed up in the New York Times (paid):

”…the International Publishers Association released a survey of how digital and printed books are taxed in 79 countries, showing that e-books are on average taxed twice as highly as printed books, 12.25 percent to 5.75 percent. In many European countries, including Sweden, Ireland and Hungary, the value-added tax on a printed book is negligible or waived, while the same book’s digital version is taxed at more than 20 percent.”

This on top of e-hostile VAT changes!

Go here for a PDF of the IPA study on tax rates, including a country by country list. Among the highlights:

Worldwide, only 22% of countries apply the standard rate of VAT to printed books, while a large majority
of nations (69%) apply standard VAT to e-books.
37 countries apply the same rate of VAT/GST to print and e-books.
35 countries apply a higher rate of VAT/GST to e-books than to print.
The average VAT/GST rate applied to printed books is 5.75%.
The average VAT/GST rate applied to e-books is 12.25%.
Chile is the only Latin American country not to apply zero-rate VAT to printed books.
Israel is the only Middle Eastern country which applies standard VAT to printed books.
Standard VAT rates in Asia (8.6%) are significantly lower than in Europe (21%).
The majority of African countries surveyed (8 out of 13) have zero-rate VAT on printed books.
Denmark applies the highest VAT rate on printed books (25%).
Hungary applies the highest VAT rate on e-books (27%).

“ The United States,” says the study, “was not included in the survey, as each state has its own individual sales tax regime).“

So what do you think? Should books of any kind, E or P, be taxed. Why or why not?


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