E-book taxes vs. those on P: Twice as much a cut, according to 79-country survey

By David Rothman
August 2, 2015 // 0 Comments

Doubt that too many politicians are Luddites at heart—or listen to entrenched industries, at the expense of progress? Well, ponder this. E-books suffer taxes twice as high as those of paper books, if you go by a 79-country  survey. Here’s the lowdown as summed up in the New York Times [...]

Documents leak fingers Amazon among Luxembourg tax offenders, says ICIJ

By Paul St John Mackintosh
November 7, 2014 // 1 Comment

The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) claims to have just obtained a trove of leaked documents from the tiny and highly tax-efficient Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, naming Amazon among many name-brand international companies that sought extensive tax concessions by [...]

Remember all that anti-Amazon tax snark? Your turn, Apple

By Paul St John Mackintosh
October 1, 2014 // 5 Comments

Amazon-haters who used the media/retail giant’s European tax policies as a stick to beat it with may soon be looking for a new theme: at least if they want to continue to cast Amazon as the sole villain in the piece. Because the European Commission has issued a letter asserting that the Irish [...]

Google uses transfer pricing to avoid paying European taxes

By Chris Meadows
July 27, 2014 // 1 Comment

One of the most commonly-heard complaints about Amazon, at least in Europe, is that it sells e-books from a division based in Luxembourg so that it can charge a much lower VAT (Value-Added Tax, the European equivalent of sales tax) rate on its e-books than UK law allows. The unspoken implication is [...]

Nando’s, Amazon, and tax: Who’s the real chicken?

By Paul St John Mackintosh
July 11, 2014 // 1 Comment

In the wake of UK children’s writer Allan Ahlberg’s refusal of the Amazon-sponsored inaugural Booktrust Lifetime Achievement Award – over Amazon’s tax avoidance policies and other issues including the Hachette standoff – The Guardian has been probing into similar tax [...]

UK Ethical Consumer mag, MPs call to boycott Amazon

By libertyc
November 30, 2013 // 4 Comments

Now it’s “Boycott Amazon” in the UK. And “the campaign to make Amazon pay a fair rate of tax,” steered by Ethical Consumer magazine, has been joined by a slew of British MPs, according to The Bookseller, including Public Accounts Committee chairman Margaret Hodge [...]

Taxation Issue Resurfaces in UK as Politicians Make Cheap Political Capital

By libertyc
October 30, 2013 // 0 Comments

The thorny issue of cross-border taxation of Amazon and similar ebook platforms in the UK has resurfaced – well, not so much resurfaced as been dragged out and paraded by The Bookseller like a suspect in a witch trial. The Bookseller quoted a report in the UK’s Daily Telegraph that in [...]

European Council may bring changes in EU ebook VAT

By libertyc
October 22, 2013 // 0 Comments

A meeting of the European Union’s European Council scheduled to take place this week could bring about a retail mini-revolution for ebooks in Europe, at least if certain writeups in the media are to be believed. As reported in The Bookseller, the meeting may see the different rates of value [...]

Amazon also catches flak in Germany

By libertyc
July 19, 2013 // 1 Comment

UK and France are not the only European countries to indulge in a spot of gratuitous Amazon-bashing. Now Germany is seeing the same trend, with Reuters reporting “outraged” complaints by Sven Giegold, German Green Party Euro MP, at Amazon’s low German tax bill despite its huge [...]

Summer heat turned up on Amazon in UK media

By libertyc
July 3, 2013 // 0 Comments

The UK activism and media heat on Amazon seems to be reaching a fever pitch as temperatures rise, with British newspapers trumpeting the results of a Booksellers Association survey concurrent with the start of Independent Booksellers Week, which purports to show that some 60 percent fewer British [...]

UK book buyer survey makes me scratch my head

By libertyc
July 2, 2013 // 6 Comments

Here’s a story that leaves me puzzled. The Bookseller reports that a survey of over 2,000 UK book buyers claimed that 70.8% of 16-24-year-olds said that learning about the ways Internet-only booksellers get around paying UK taxes makes them less likely to shop on-line. It also claimed that the [...]

European Commission investigates France, Luxembourg for illegally lowering VAT on e-books

By libertyc
July 5, 2012 // 0 Comments

Remember how Amazon has based its European operations in Luxembourg due to that country’s lower value-added tax rate on e-books? And France has reduced its own rate? Today the European Commission served notice that it was launching an investigation into whether these countries had broken European [...]

Award-winning political campaign rescues library with ‘book-burning party’

By libertyc
June 16, 2012 // 5 Comments

It can be hard to get enough funding for libraries. Troy, Michigan recently tried three times to get a tax increase passed to give the library sufficient funding to stay open. The vote failed twice, and had only one last shot on the ballot, days before the library would have to close. But as with [...]

UK Publishers Association lobbies for e-book VAT reduction

By libertyc
April 26, 2012 // 0 Comments

In December, I mentioned the UK Parliament considering and then declining to lower the UK’s 20% value-added tax (VAT) on e-books. Lowering the VAT is technically against EU law, though that hasn’t stopped countries such as France and Luxembourg from doing it. Publishing Perspectives reports [...]

UK declines to lower VAT on e-books, gives Amazon big advantage in UK e-book sales

By libertyc
December 23, 2011 // 7 Comments

After the matter came up in Parliament last week, the UK has once again declined to lower the value-added tax on e-books, which currently stands at 20%. The Bookseller reports David Gauke, the UK’s exchequer secretary, said the UK could not do this and remain in compliance with European Union [...]

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