Books and periodicals to receive a reduced 5 % VAT rate

(15.11.2021.)

As of next year, books, newspapers, and periodicals are to be subject to a reduced rate of value added tax (VAT) of 5 %. This is provided for in the amendments to the Value Added Tax Law adopted by the Saeima in the final reading on Monday, 15 November. The amendments are introduced in relation to the state budget for 2022.

The reduced VAT rate will apply to books and periodicals both in printed and all electronic forms - on data carriers, downloaded files, and online. The reduced rate will also apply to subscription payments. This will mean that e-books, e-publications of periodicals, news portals and their publications will be taxed at a lower rate than before.

The reduced 5 % rate of will apply to books, including educational literature, brochures, leaflets, picture, drawing and colouring books for children, printed music or music manuscripts, maps and hydrographic or similar charts, as well as to the delivery of publications of the press and other mass media, including newspapers, magazines, newsletters, and other periodicals, communications by information agencies intended for distribution to the public, and online publications.

Until now, deliveries of such books and periodicals were subject to a reduced VAT rate of 12 %. According to the explanatory note to the Amendment, the 5 % rate will make books and periodicals more accessible to the public, stabilise the number, circulation, and affordability of books and periodicals, thus ensuring greater access to high-quality and reliable information.

The reduced VAT rate will not apply to erotic and pornographic publications, nor to publications the content and purpose of which is dedicated to advertisements or commercials and which consist entirely or mainly of videos or music.

Amendments to the Value Added Tax Law will enter into force on 1 January 2022.

 

Saeima Press Service

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