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European Commission v French Republic and European Commission v Grand Duchy of Luxembourg

In European Commission v French Republic C-479/13 and European Commission v Grand Duchy of Luxembourg C-502/13 (5 March) the CJEU found that French and Luxembourg legislation which applied a reduced rate to digital books were in breach of the VAT Directive. The European Commission had applied to the CJEU for a declaration that by applying a reduced rate of VAT to the supply of digital (or electronic) books the French Republic and the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg had failed to fulfill their obligations under the VAT Directive.

The Commission relied in particular on art 98(2) which excludes the application of a reduced rate of VAT to electronically supplied services. The CJEU accepted that by expanding the scope of point 6 of Annex III to the VAT Directive to encompass the ‘supply of books on all physical means of support’ the EU legislature had intended to clarify and...

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