Magazines Ireland is calling on the government to urge the European Commission to reach an agreement on VAT rates applied to printed and digital magazines.
In its pre-budget submission, the association calls on minister for finance, Paschal Donohue to support a zero VAT rate on magazines.
Ciaran Casey, chairman, Magazines Ireland made the case that UK publishers have a significant advantage over the Irish counterparts in this regard.
“Magazines Ireland supports the commission’s proposal, released on 11 January 2018, amending Directive 2006/112 as regards rates of value added tax,” Casey said. “The proposal aims at replacing the current transitional regime into a harmonized system where all member states would be granted equal freedom in setting VAT rates.
“We believe that Irish magazines, both print and digital, should be zero rated,” he added. “UK publishers operating in a VAT free environment have significant advantages over indigenous Irish publishers. Other European countries such as Belgium, Italy, Luxembourg and France also enjoy zero or super-reduced rates.”
Grace Aungier, CEO, Magazines Ireland, also feels that “magazines have an important role to play in educating and informing its audiences on a whole range of issues and in contributing to higher literacy levels in society”.
“Ireland needs to maintain the indigenous character of Irish magazines and their role within our overall societal and cultural identity,” Aungier said. “A zero VAT rate on magazines would contribute to the wider availability of quality content which is vital for media diversity, literacy and for the personal development of all citizens.”