While many EU countries have taken the 2018 VAT harmonization ruling to reduce the tax on ebooks to be in line with print, Bulgaria is among the few countries in Europe not to follow suit.

Rather Bulgaria has kept a punishing 20% VAT rate on both digital and print books.

That will change July 1 2020 when the Bulgarian govt. drops the VAT rate for books, ebooks and a handful of other products from 20% to 9%, purportedly to ease the pressures of the pandemic.

But the measure is clearly stated as temporary and the VAT rate will, unless an extension is introduced, revert to 20% on July 31.

In doing so the Bulgarian govt. sends a clear message to publishers that books are not valued and that any publisher-driven measures to increase book production to take advantage of the lower VAT rate will be a waste of time.

Among the digital books players operating in Bulgaria are Storytel –

and Bookmate –