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Latvian President asks to reduce VAT for printed media and books

The President of Latvia Egils Levits has sent a letter to the government encouraging the application of reduced value added tax (VAT) rate of 5% to printed press and Latvian literature, according to a statement by the Chancery February 2.

The VAT rate is currently set at 12% for literature, textbooks, newspapers, magazines and other periodicals. The President of Latvia calls on the Cabinet, in cooperation with representatives of the publishing industry, to consider the reducing the VAT rate for these publications, as well as their electronic versions, to 5%.

“Latvian original literature and book publishing is one of the important fundamental elements of preserving Latvian language. High-quality media, on the other hand, provides democratic discourse in the public space,” Levits was quoted in the statement.

“Like in other countries of the world, the sustainability of these [publications] can also be compromised in Latvia due to economic factors. Electronic and printed media cannot only exist on a commercial basis in Latvia, without support mechanisms on the part of the State.

“This problem is particularly relevant in the regional market, where demand for printed media is proportionally higher, but their delivery costs are higher.”

The letter was addressed by Levits to Prime Minister Krišjānis Kariņš (New Unity), Finance Minister Jānis Reirs (New Unity) and Culture Minister Nauris Puntulis (National Alliance).

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