As you might have seen in our latest newsletter, we at Kobo have been supporting the UK’s publishers association in its lobby to #AxetheReadingTax and equalise the rates of VAT applied to books by removing VAT on digital editions of titles.
For centuries in the U.K., physical books have never had any kind of tax or VAT applied to them because “books are special”. We believe that this goes for eBooks and audiobooks too, and that they should also be VAT exempt. We felt strongly about this as digital reading in all formats is important for accessibility and preferred by many younger readers in the U.K.
In March, the U.K. Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak announced in his budget, that he would be removing VAT from eBooks on the 1st December 2020. A few weeks ago, in response the COVID19 pandemic, he announced he would be bringing this change forward to 1st May 2020.
As you provide us with the Suggest Retail Price (SRP) for your eBooks distributed through Kobo Writing Life, you now may wish to lower your titles prices in the UK 20% to pass this saving on to customers. You can do this easily in the Set the Price section of your book.
Note: At the time of writing the UK government have not announced any plans to remove the VAT from digital audiobooks. You can learn more about the campaign at https://www.axethereadingtax.org
Great news, what other countries have similar financial imbalances? can you list them?