eBooks and tax

12 Dec

If you were not aware of this silly situation, there is no VAT (Value Added Tax) on printed books, but 20% on eBooks. This is because eBooks are regarded as a species of computer software rather than literature. My Kindle steadfastly refuses to run programs, other than a most basic form of browser. If the medium is regarded as the message, then readers of eBooks are to be regarded as 2nd class citizens. Actually, the vast majority of the books I have downloaded were free, and twenty percent of nothing doesn’t amount to much. Many of these books have been scanned in and processed through OCR (Optical Character Recognition). The quality of these is variable, dependent on how well the work has been edited afterwards, to correct errors. Still, I suppose you get what you pay for.

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