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Parliamentary questions
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15 June 2015
Joint answer given by Mr Moscovici on behalf of the Commission
Written questions :E-004355/15 , E-004381/15
Question references: E-004355/2015, E-004381/2015

In 2008 and 2009, when the Council for the last time discussed the issue of VAT rates for online and offline publications, it explicitely decided that all electronic services, including online publications, shall be taxed at the standard rate of VAT, and amended Article 98 and Annex III of the VAT Directive accordingly. The Court ruling to which the Honourable Member refers did not rule these provisions as being a discriminatory regime.

Some Member States and Members of Parliament have now voiced their preference for supporting the markets for online publications by there applying the same tax subsidies as are already applied for offline publications. Also, the rules on the place of supply for electronic services, including online publications, have been changed and it is since January 2015 the country of destination of such services that determines VAT liability and VAT rates.

The Commission will take these preferences as well as the change in the rules on the place of supply for electronic services into account when analysing policy options in the context of the general review of the VAT system and the design of the definitive VAT system. Work on this already started and is expected to lead to first tangible results in the course of 2016.

Also, in its Digital Single Market Strategy of 2015 the Commission has commited itself to make legislative proposals in 2016 to reduce the administrative burden on businesses arising from different VAT regimes.

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