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IMPALA calls for review of VAT on music

By | Published on Thursday 15 December 2011


Pan-European indie label trade body IMPALA has called for more equality and clarity on benefits in the VAT system for cultural goods, and for consistency between online and offline transactions. IMPALA was responding to a report on VAT systems across the European Union published by the European Commission last week. The EC is now planning an assessment of the current VAT rates structure in 2012.

IMPALA argues that VAT systems in many European countries unfairly penalise both music and online businesses. They said in a statement yesterday: “Currently, some cultural goods are eligible for a reduced VAT rate, while others – such as recorded music – are not. Additionally, some cultural goods benefit from a reduced VAT rate offline, while the standard VAT rate is applied online. IMPALA believes a clearer VAT system would reduce business and consumer confusion, end the illogical discrimination between cultural products, reduce administrative burden on SMEs, boost access to culture and make Europe’s online market more competitive internationally”.

IMPALA Executive Chair Helen Smith added: “IMPALA renews its call to the European Commission and member states for equal VAT treatment of all cultural goods and services online and offline. The current situation, whereby cultural goods and services are not subject to the same VAT rate, is illogical, discriminatory and harmful to Europe’s economy”.