Book industry hopes for scrapping of eBook VAT

Kindle ebookReading an eBook on Kindle. Photo:

The book industry hopes for the scrapping of eBook VAT

There is a clear expectation in the book industry that the ebook VAT will be scrapped when the Norwegian state budget is presented on Monday. The answer from the Minister of Culture is: – Wait and see!


The book industry has for a long time been waiting for the VAT on eBooks to be removed. Today, the value added tax on an eBook is 25 per cent, while there is a VAT exemption for paper books.

– Clearly, we expect the Ministry of Culture to scrap the VAT on eBooks now. That is after all written in black on white in the Jeløy platform, says Managing Director, Kristenn Einarsson to NTB.

He says that the Government should now be well prepared for such a change since this has been the subject for many years and that this is an issue that has been resolved for the press. Norway has zero VAT on the electronic news.

Liberals Leader in favour

Trine Skei Grande has been talking for a long time about removing the VAT on ebooks. When the Norwegian state budget was presented in 2010, the Leader of the Liberals told NTB that the Minister of Finance should take the opportunity to conclude that no VAT is to be paid on the purchase of an eBook.

Currently, in her role as the Minister of Culture, her only comment to NTB’s question of whether the VAT will be removed when the state budget is presented Monday, is: – Wait and see!

– The Minister of Culture has named 2019 as the year of the book, and Norway is a guest participant at the gigantic Frankfurt book fair. Now, Skei Grande can crown this by removing the VAT on ebooks, says Kristenn Einarsson.

EU amendment

He also shows that the EU made a decision on Tuesday that allows all EU countries to equalise digital and paper books.

– Thus, the EU countries can introduce this starting next year. We should not lag behind, says Einarsson.

The decision also creates clear expectations of a frequent lowering of the VAT in our neighbouring EU country, Sweden.

Sweden currently has an e-VAT of 25 per cent and both the Swedish Minister of Finance and the Minister of Culture have previously promised to promote proposals to immediately lower the e-VAT from 25 to 6 per cent as soon as the EU opens up for this.

– We assume that this promise is now being fulfilled. Our hope is that a law can be in place as soon as possible, says Director of the Swedish Publishing Association, Kristina Ahlinder, on their web pages.



© NTB scanpix / #Norway Today