Tax on e-books and digital publications to be ditched this December

Josh Peachey's picture
by Josh Peachey

It has been announced in the 2020 Budget that the 20% tax on e-books and online newspapers, magazines and journals will be abolished on December 1st.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced it the change, which comes after a petition signed by over 600 authors was presented to government, in Wednesday's budget.

The Publishers' Association has also deemed the tax to be "unfair and illogical". 

The Association estimated in 2018 that universities, libraries, government departments and the NHS would save up to £55m a year if the VAT on digital publications was ditched.

The EU let member states drop sales taxes on electronic publications back in October 2018, but UK Government is only catching up now. 

The Budget stated that "the government expects the publishing industry, including e-booksellers, to pass on the benefit of this relief to consumers." 

Publisher 404 Ink tweeted that the change would allow it to sell e-books from its website again.

The Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) told BBC News it was "seeking clarity" over whether audiobooks would be included or not.