Sunday 11 December 2016

VAT on the Irish media among Europe's highest

Published 25/03/2016 | 02:30

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Irish newspaper buyers are charged some of the highest VAT rates in Europe, according to figures from the European Newspaper Publishers Association.

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Newspaper buyers in Britain, Denmark and Norway pay no VAT, while reduced rates apply across most of the continent, according to the same figures.

In many countries lower tax rates apply in order to stimulate media diversity and support viability in the sector.

In Ireland VAT is currently charged at 9pc on newspaper purchases, under a temporary waiver from the standard 23pc rate that has been in effect since 2011.

Even the reduced rate that currently applies here is well in excess of rates charged in most of Europe, where it is rare to apply VAT at the standard rate to purchases of books, magazines or newspapers.

Meanwhile, figures published this week show that advertising revenue in the newspaper sector rose last year for the first time since 2007.

Across both print and digital editions, Ireland's national newspapers earned a combined €164.5m in advertising revenue last year, up 5.5pc on 2014.

That's according to figures from industry body NewsBrands Ireland.

The bulk of advertising and of growth was generated through advertising agencies, the figures show.

Agencies were behind €98.4m of last year's spending, with direct buying from sectors, including residential and commercial property and recruitment, providing the balance.

According to the NewsBrands, agency ad spending was up 8pc in 2015, while direct ad spending rose more slowly.

NewsBrands tracks spending by advertising agencies, and found that last year Mediavest, a unit of Core Media, spent €14.3m with member publications. That was the most of any agency and up €2.6m on the previous year.

The next biggest spender was Carat, at €7.9m.

Vincent Crowley, chairman of NewsBrands Ireland, said "newspapers in all formats drive the national agenda and provide unrivalled commentary and analysis".

Irish Independent

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