VAT on Electronic Publications Reduced in Various EU Countries – January 1, 2020

Kelsey O'Gorman
January 7, 2020

In 2019, many European Union Member States took advantage of the alignment of physical publications and electronic publications, recently allowed by Council Directive (EU) 2018/1713.  It appears 2020 is no different, as the following Member States have followed suit:


Electronic publications in Austria are currently taxed at the standard VAT rate of 20%, while physical publications enjoy a reduced rate of 10%.  Effective January 1, 2020, pursuant to the Tax Reform Act of 2020, Austria will begin applying a reduced VAT rate of 10% to the supply of electronic publications, consistent with its treatment of printed publications.

Please find the text of the Act here.


The German Government recently adopted an amendment (Law on further tax incentives for electromobility and amending further tax regulations) to the VAT Act which provides that the 7% reduced rate will apply to electronic publications from the day after promulgation in the official gazette.  Prior to this change, electronic publications were taxed at the standard VAT rate of 19%.  This amendment was published on December 17, 2019 which provides for an effective date of December 18, 2019.

For further information, please find the gazette here.


Effective January 1, 2020, electronic publications in Netherlands will be taxed at the reduced VAT rate of 9%.  Prior to the adoption of Tax Plan 2020, electronic publications in the Netherlands were taxed at the standard VAT rate of 21%.

Please find Tax Plan 2020 here.


Currently, printed publications are taxed at a VAT rate of 9.5%, while electronic publications are taxed at 22%.  Slovenia originally slated the electronic versions to be reduced to 9.5% as well with effect from January 1, 2020.  However, on December 4, 2019, the Act Amending the Value Added Tax Act ZDDV-1 (ZDDV-1L) was published in Slovenia Gazette no. 72/19.  This amendment introduced a new special VAT rate at 5% for both physical and electronic publications.  

For additional information, please see the Official Gazette of the Republic of Slovenia here.

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Kelsey O'Gorman

Kelsey O’Gorman is a Regulatory Counsel at Sovos. Within Sovos’ Regulatory Analysis function, Kelsey focuses on global sales tax and VAT issues, supporting both the tax determination and reporting engines. Kelsey received her B.A. in Psychology from University at Buffalo and her J.D. from Roger Williams University School of Law. She is a member of the Massachusetts Bar.
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