British commissioner recommends digital press be exempted from VAT

A UK government commissioner recommended that digital news products be given the same exemption from the Value Added Tax (VAT) as newspapers.

Newspapers are exempted from VAT because of their importance in promoting literacy and democratic accountability. Francis Kern, who was appointed last year to suggest ways to help maintain the free press, recommended that this include an exemption for digital publications.

Other recommendations include the creation of a “news quality” organizer for online platform accounting such as Facebook when misinformation is published. The BBC is also facing restrictions on its digital work after the review called for greater scrutiny of its impact on local newspapers.



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