Modernisation of the VAT legislation in order to boost the digital single market
Question for oral answer O-000226/2011
to the Commission
Marielle Gallo, Doris Pack, Jürgen Creutzmann, Olle Ludvigsson, António Fernando Correia De Campos, Arlene McCarthy, Phil Prendergast, Ashley Fox, Louis Michel, Jean-Paul Gauzès, Jean-Marie Cavada, Nadja Hirsch, Diana Wallis, Bill Newton Dunn, Tadeusz Zwiefka, Constance Le Grip, David Casa, Jean-Pierre Audy, Pablo Arias Echeverría, Philippe Juvin, Piotr Borys, Marie-Thérèse Sanchez-Schmid, José Manuel García-Margallo y Marfil, Angelika Niebler, Axel Voss, Françoise Grossetête, Ivo Belet, Katarína Neveďalová, Cătălin Sorin Ivan, Silvia Costa, Alajos Mészáros, Toine Manders, Damien Abad, Hannu Takkula, Ioannis A. Tsoukalas, Helga Trüpel, Adina-Ioana Vălean, Cornelis de Jong, Raffaele Baldassarre, Cecilia Wikström, Cristian Silviu Buşoi, Klaus-Heiner Lehne, Niki Tzavela
The digital single market remains fragmented, partly due to the consumption taxes applying to goods and services. The Commission is currently reflecting on the future of VAT, and the goals set out in the EU 2020 Strategy should be taken into account. The current wording of Annex 3 of Directive 2006/112/EC is a barrier to the development of new digital services. The rules applying to books are one of the most striking examples. Under the current legal framework, Member States may apply reduced rates for the supply of books on all physical means, while e-books might be subject to a standard VAT rate of at least 15 percent.
For the development of a genuine digital single market, the European Union could allow Member States to apply, on a temporary basis, a reduced VAT rate for electronically supplied services of cultural content. This new category, which would be included in Annex 3 of Directive 2006/112/EC, could cover the provision of online services such as TV, music, books or press, by a supplier established within the EU to any non-taxable person also established within the EU. An independent study commissioned by DG TAXUD supports this idea as it demonstrated the importance of extending reduced VAT rates to cultural goods and sectors that are under-consumed.
- Does the Commission intend to propose the revision of Annex 3 of Directive 2006/112/EC to align the supply of goods and the supply of electronic services, paying particular attention to books, in order to avoid any discrimination between offline and online dissemination of works?
- Does the Commission intend to propose the revision of Directive 2008/8/EC as regards the place of supply of services, in order to comply with the principles agreed within the framework of the OECD before 1 January 2015?
- Does the Commission intend to propose the revision of Annex 3 of Directive 2006/112/EC in order to introduce a new category of electronically supplied services of cultural content, which is a necessary step towards the achievement of the EU 2020 Strategy goals?
Deadline for reply: 12.10.2011