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Budget 2020: VAT on e-books and newspapers scrapped

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Chancellor Rishi Sunak has introduced the 20% tax on e-books and on-line newspapers, magazines and journals will probably be abolished on 1 December.

But the BBC has discovered that it’s going to now not observe to audiobooks, one thing that the Royal National Institute stated was once “disappointing”.

A letter calling for the tax to be axed was once signed via greater than 600 authors and offered to Parliament in October.

Physical books and periodicals are already exempt.

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Media captionChancellor Rishi Sunak gets rid of ‘studying tax’

In October 2018, the EU allowed member states drop gross sales taxes on digital publications and many nations have already made the adjustments.

“The government expects the publishing industry, including e-booksellers, to pass on the benefit of this relief to consumers,” the Budget states.

RNIB’s head of social exchange, Sarah Lambert, stated it was once disappointing that the tax spoil was once now not being prolonged to audiobooks.

“Today’s exchange recognises the prejudice of taxing some selection codecs and will assist widen get admission to for blind and partly sighted individuals who use e-Readers.

“However, for many of us residing with sight loss, audiobooks are their most popular layout and let them revel in their favorite titles in the similar manner as everybody else. It’s now not proper that they are going to proceed to be charged 20% extra for books and we urge the federal government to make certain that audiobooks are incorporated within the exemption.”

Publisher 404 Ink tweeted the “large” resolution would permit it to promote e-books from its site once more.

Jim Waterson, media editor on the Guardian newspaper, estimated the transfer may just receive advantages News UK – writer of the Sun and Times papers – via £20m, if it stored the price to shoppers the similar fairly than passing on the saving to subscribers.

Skip Twitter put up via @jimwaterson

Very free fag packet numbers:Times has 300,000 on-line subsHypothetically let’s faux all are at £26pm headline price = source of revenue of £94m a 12 months together with VAT. If they preserve the price to shopper the similar, that is a £20m spice up to News UK.

Meanwhile, the FT simply were given *tremendous* loaded.

— Jim Waterson (@jimwaterson) March 11, 2020

End of Twitter put up via @jimwaterson

A 2018 file via the Publishers’ Association estimated universities, libraries, executive departments and the NHS would save as much as £55m a 12 months because of ditching VAT on virtual publications.

In reaction to the inside track, it stated: “We are overjoyed that the federal government has determined to zero-rate VAT on virtual books and journals within the Budget. It’s improbable that the Chancellor has stated the price of studying.

“The decision to axe the reading tax will bring an end to the illogical and unfair tax on those who need or prefer to read digitally and should contribute to an increase in literacy in the UK.”

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