European Publishers Urge PM Fiala to Reconsider VAT Increase on Newspapers

European publishers have requested Prime Minister Petr Fiala (ODS) to reconsider the government’s proposal to increase the value-added tax (VAT) rate for newspaper sales from ten percent to 21 percent as part of the fiscal consolidation efforts. According to the European Publishers Council, this tax hike would lead to higher newspaper prices, reducing their affordability and creating space for the spread of misinformation.

The council’s executive director, Angela Mills Wade, emphasized that such a move would harm newspaper publishers, their readers, and society in the long run. It would result in further price increases, declining newspaper sales, and limiting access to quality, trustworthy, and professionally curated information. This, in turn, would create an environment conducive to disseminating misinformation.

The European Publishers Council represents top executives from media companies, with its members including chairpersons and CEOs of leading European media houses actively involved in multimedia content creation in the EU.

In addition to the European Publishers Council, the government has also been urged by the World Association of News Publishers (WAN-IFRA), the European Newspaper Publishers’ Association, and the European Magazine Publishers’ Association to reconsider the proposed VAT increase on newspapers.

The request from these industry associations highlights the concern over the potential negative consequences of such a tax policy change. It underlines the importance of maintaining the affordability and accessibility of newspapers as a reliable source of information while addressing the government’s fiscal goals.

The outcome of this request and any potential reconsideration of the VAT rate for newspaper sales will have implications for the publishing industry, readers, and the broader media landscape in Europe.