Ending of VAT on ebooks brought forward

The scrapping of VAT on epublications announced by the Chancellor in this March’s Budget has now been fast-tracked in support of people staying at home due to the COVID-19 outbreak. The 0% VAT rate will apply to all epublications from 1 May 2020.

With the nation in lockdown and schools closed, millions have been relying more than ever on epublications to help pass the time, home-school children, and provide news. The Chancellor has opted to bring the zero-rating forward to make such materials more affordable for readers who are rightly staying home during the COVID-19 crisis.

Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak said: “We want to make it as easy as possible for people across the UK to get hold of the books they want whilst they are staying at home and saving lives.

That is why we have fast-tracked plans to scrap VAT on all e-publications, which will make it cheaper for publishers to sell their books, magazines and newspapers.”

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said: “This tax relief on subscriptions to digital publications will boost our world-class publishers, save consumers money and reflects the surge in popularity of e-reading as we stay at home to protect the NHS.

I hope to see it benefitting the news industry through increased sales of e-newspapers as they continue to provide a vital public service giving people accurate and trusted information about coronavirus.”

Read the full press release on the Treasury website.