eBooks Can Face Up To 25% Tax In European Nations

This week Amazon opened the Kindle Store in Spain and Italy, but time will tell if these stores take off. Will Spanish and Italian consumers adopt eReaders? Probably. But the real question is will they go for the higher taxes on eBooks than on print books.

According to The New York Times, printed books in each of these countries are taxed at 4 percent, meanwhile eBooks in Italy are taxed at 20 percent and in Spain at 18 percent.

The New York Times reports: “Across most of Europe, e-books are taxed at full national value-added rates, which reach 25 percent in Sweden, Denmark, Hungary and other countries. Printed books, benefiting from an industry lobby, are taxed at a fraction of the full rates — and not at all in Britain.”

But the situation is not hopeless. According to the piece in The Times, booksellers are pushing their governments for change. And France already has plans to change its eBook tax to 5.5 percent, which is the same tax French consumers pay on print books in the new year.