Culture minister wants to cut VAT on digital publications to 9 percent

Culture minister Tõnis Lukas (Isamaa).
Culture minister Tõnis Lukas (Isamaa). Source: Ken Mürk/ERR

Culture minister Tõnis Lukas (Isamaa) says that VAT on digital publications should be cut to 9 percent, from its current rate of 20 percent, to protect the domestic market.

"Estonian-language journalism is one of the mainstays of national culture," Lukas said on his social media page on Friday, according to ERR's online Estonian news.

"It is important to secure [Estonian journalism's] economic base to ensure its survival. But this is under threat. In 2020, I will continue to work to first reduce VAT on e-magazines and e books to 9 percent, and second, to make foreign-based internet platforms pay for participating in the advertising market here as well as for using the content of our publications, to stop money leaving Estonia and its local press," Lukas continued.

Lukas said he had already formally put forward proposals along such lines last year.

The Estonian Association of Media Companies (Eesti meediaettevõtete liit) has made the same proposals.

In 2017, the Union (then known as the Estonian Newspaper Association, the EALL) recommended that the Estonian government cut taxes on digital subscriptions to newspapers, Estonia's presidency of the EU.

The current VAT rate on paper publications stands at 9 percent, and on digital publications at 20 percent.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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