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Monday, January 30, 2012

E-books: A taxing situation

By Lynn Moore, THE GAZETTE January 30, 2012

MONTREAL - As a book lover, Carole Ramsahoye numbers among the millions of North Americans who own an electronic reader.

As an accountant, she is among the few Quebecers who have noticed that e-book purchases can include 9.5 per cent provincial sales tax while traditional print books do not.

“It’s illogical,” Ramsahoye said. “I’m having a difficult time to accept that e-books should be subject to QST and the paper print version should not be.”

While the federal government charges sales tax on all books, the Quebec government treats traditional books – as in pages inked with characters and bound together – as “zero-rated” for tax purposes.

Another Canadian who realizes that e-books are subject to provincial tax in many, if not all provinces, is Robert Hayashi, head of eBOUND Canada, the recently created digital arm of the Association of Canadian Publishers.

And he shares Ramsahoye’s frustration.

E-books: A taxing situation

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