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Stupid UK Tax on E-books

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Offline mattlynn
01 Oct 2011, 03:51 PM | Post: #1

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Stupid UK Tax on E-books

This post was last modified: 01 Oct 2011 03:52 PM by mattlynn.
E-Books are the best thing that have happened to writers since…well, probably the invention of instant coffee. Sure, there is a lot of nervousness among publishers and bookshop owners and that is understandable. But for writers, they can only be good news. At the flick of a switch, you have a global market. Far more of the money generated goes to the writer. And it opens up markers for all sorts of new kinds of work.

There is one glaring injustice, however. E-books carry VAT, whereas printed books are tax-free.

That is just short-sighted greed on the part of the Treasury. A petition has been started up on the government’s website calling for its abolition. As it rightly points out, e-books are far more environmentally-friendly than the old, paper sort. No trees get cut down. No vans drive them around the country. A book is a book, regardless of the form of delivery. It is crazy to discriminate in favour of one kind through the tax system.

I’d add another point. I bet e-books can be a huge industry for the UK. We have great writers, English is the world’s language, and we have the editors and entrepreneurs who can seize the market. And yet the Government is taxing e-books unfairly – which almost certainly means the industry won’t develop as fast as it otherwise would. Bonkers.

I’ve already signed the petition, but there are only 2,500 so far. So click on the link and add your name today.

- Matt Lynn

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Offline Notoriety Reading Five Days in May by Andrew Adonis
01 Oct 2011, 06:28 PM | Post: #2

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RE: Stupid UK Tax on E-books

Hi Mattlynn

Couldn't agree more. Tantrum

We've had some discussion before and I was surprised that that it turns out that the tax is an EU idea and is Levied in Luxembourg where Amazon Europe is based - hence 15% not 20% as in the UK. See http://www.kuforum.co.uk... - but you need to get to page 2 or 3 of the thread.

Tony
Arab proverb: Only a fool lends his books and only a fool returns them.
Offline davidwailing Reading The Atholl Expedition by Alex Roddie
02 Oct 2011, 09:12 PM | Post: #3

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RE: Stupid UK Tax on E-books

Thanks for reminding me of this - I've signed and tweeted about the petition.

I suspect there's not much chance of the law changing until ebooks start becoming the normal way for everyone to read, which is a good few years off yet. But we should still do our part!
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Offline writerken Reading The Farmer Boy
03 Oct 2011, 07:49 AM | Post: #4

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RE: Stupid UK Tax on E-books

Signed it a while back. Keep tweeting it.
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Offline sujay Reading The Glass Guardian by Linda Gillard
03 Oct 2011, 08:29 AM | Post: #5

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RE: Stupid UK Tax on E-books

(02 Oct 2011 09:12 PM)davidwailing Wrote:  I suspect there's not much chance of the law changing until ebooks start becoming the normal way for everyone to read, which is a good few years off yet. But we should still do our part!

From little acorns big oak trees grow, and everything has to start somewhere. Smile
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Offline Tinker Reading In the Bleak Midwinter - Carol Rivers
05 Oct 2011, 10:16 PM | Post: #6

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RE: Stupid UK Tax on E-books

Well done Matt. This really annoys me. Surely e-books are greener than printed? And frankly any method of putting books in front of readers should be encouraged. Not taxed!
Julia Hughes
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Offline Dchase Reading
09 Oct 2011, 07:26 PM | Post: #7

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RE: Stupid UK Tax on E-books

I'm in the US and don't know much about VAT. How much does it usually add to an ebook sale?
Offline Jinglepupskye
10 Oct 2011, 12:22 AM | Post: #8

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RE: Stupid UK Tax on E-books

(09 Oct 2011 07:26 PM)Dchase Wrote:  I'm in the US and don't know much about VAT. How much does it usually add to an ebook sale?

At the moment 20%.
Offline Notoriety Reading Five Days in May by Andrew Adonis
10 Oct 2011, 06:39 AM | Post: #9

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RE: Stupid UK Tax on E-books

VAT on UK Amazon e-books is levied in Luxembourg at 15%.

Tony
Arab proverb: Only a fool lends his books and only a fool returns them.
Offline Geoff Woodland Reading The Help - paperback
13 Oct 2011, 02:30 AM | Post: #10

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RE: Stupid UK Tax on E-books

Do you have the same problem if you buy from Smashwords?
Geoff

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