The CJEU ruled on the VAT rate applicable to books and publications provided electronically.
Implementing its reasoning applicable to the principle of equal treatment, the Court considers that the two methods of provision of digital publication, i.e. “on all physical means of support” and “electronically”, represent comparable situations.
Precluding the application of the VAT reduced rate to the supply of digital books electronically establishes a difference in treatment. This difference in treatment is however duly justified since the EU legislator considered it was necessary to make electronically supplied services (including the supply of digital books electronically) subject to “clear, simple and uniform” rules, and therefore to the standard VAT rate.
In parallel with this decision, thought is also being given by Member States to the European legislation in order to be able to apply the VAT reduced rate to electronically provided publications.