From 23 April 2020, electronic books, newspapers, and magazines will be taxed at 4% VAT.


Until now, the Spanish Tax Agency had repeatedly responded to queries by applying a higher VAT rate compared to goods supplied in printed format, only allowing the 4% VAT rate for books that had been transferred to reading devices via CD-ROM, USB drives, and so on. The Agency used European regulations to justify its claim that services supplied electronically could under no circumstances be taxed at a super-reduced rate, and therefore the standard rate of 21% was applied.


With this regulatory change, the government is responding to the demands of the sector by applying the same VAT rate to sales of goods in both electronic and printed formats.


The reduction follows the decision taken by the European Council in October 2018, when it was agreed that member states may apply reduced VAT rates to electronic publications.