Amazon is reducing the price of eBooks in the Kindle store for UK customers due to rapidly implemented VAT changes in light of thepandemic.
UK Treasury plans to bring paid digital publications, including newspapers and books, into line with traditional print media – on which no value added tax (VAT) is imposed – were accelerated and introduced seven months before calendar.
See also: Amazon could spend $ 300 million to develop COVID-19 tests this quarter
The government said the reduction in VAT from 20% to zero reflects the adoption of digital media driven by the lockdown. According to Chancellor Rishi Sunak, this could reduce not only the cost of stand-alone e-books, but also the annual cost of media subscriptions, including magazines and newspapers.
As reported by The Guardian, changes to Amazon’s ebooks will be introduced on Friday. If an ebook cost £ 15 including tax, for example, the cost would now be £ 12.50.
“We want to make it as easy as possible for people across the UK to get the books they want while they stay at home and save lives,” Sunak said. “That’s why we have fast-track plans to remove VAT from all electronic publications, which will allow publishers to sell their books, magazines and newspapers for less.”
Customers should see the price changes today.
An Amazon spokesperson said the company “is working as fast as possible to lower prices for customers.”
A survey conducted by the Office for National Statistics, updated April 30, says 81.7% of UK adults are “very worried” or “a little worried” about the effect COVID-19 is having on their lives.
A total of 42.1% of adults said reading helped them cope with confinement and social isolation. Gardening, staying in touch with family and friends from a distance, using streaming content services, and exercising are also popular activities.
The government also plans to spend £ 35million with regional and local newspapers over the next three months on advertising to help publications consolidate their finances as the pandemic still requires severe lockdowns.
Amazon’s first quarter 2020 financial results showed net income of $ 2.5 billion, up from $ 3.6 billion in the first quarter of 2019. The e-commerce giant expects to pay billions of dollars in pandemic costs. This week, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos told investors to “sit back” and expect financial losses to continue into the second quarter.
About $ 300 million has also been earmarked for expanding the company’s own COVID-19 testing capabilities.
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