Authors call on the Chancellor to Axe the Reading Tax
Fill in the form below to add your name to the open letter from UK authors calling on the Government to remove VAT from digital books to bring them into line with printed books, which are rightly zero-rated:
Dear Chancellor of the Exchequer,
We are writing to you as authors and book lovers to ask that you remove the tax on ebooks and audiobooks that may prevent young readers, those from low income backgrounds, and those who struggle to read print from experiencing the joys of reading.
Reading is one of the greatest pleasures there is. Books are a passport to other worlds, to other ways of life. They help people develop empathy, offer comfort, inspire and challenge. It is vital that everybody can access the joy and opportunity of reading; regardless of their age, income or physical capability. VAT is rightly not applied to print books and digital formats should be treated in the same way.
Young people are increasingly reading using phones, ereaders and audio devices. Digital formats can enable reluctant readers to engage with, and benefit from, books. There are many people in the UK who are living with a visual impairment or a disability that prevents them from being able to use print books who are taxed unfairly by this policy.
For these reasons, we urge you to remove the 20% tax on digital reading. This will help to ensure that those people who prefer or need to read digitally have the same access to books – and all the pleasure and benefits that they bring – as everyone else.