December 21, 2013

Destination Italy gives tax rebates to book buyers


Piggy bankThe Italian government is planning a 19% tax rebate for book buyers, in hopes of boosting Italian culture. Agenzia Giornalistica Italia (AGI) reports that the Destination Italy plan, approved December 13, is devised “to promote greater dissemination of reading physical books,” and to expand their culture. It’s expected to cost the Treasury about €50 million.

There’s a real emphasis on the “physical books” part: The rebate can only be applied to books bought in hard copy in real stores. It is not eligible for books bought online.

The 19% rebate goes as far as €2000, or $2746 U.S. Out of the €2000 credit, €1000 ($1375 U.S.) is reserved for school books and college, and €1000 for all other publications.

Culture is a commodity the Italian government seems to take seriously. “World demand for culture is growing exponentially,” says the website, and the Destination Italy plan is an attempt to “attract foreign investment and improve the competitiveness of Italian firms.”

So books are good for Italian business, it seems. There will be tax credits for music and film, too.

All books will receive a “user ISBN” to be tracked for the rebate. It’s a little surprising to see books at the top of the government’s list of cultural assets that will help Italy rebuild its nation, but hey, we’ll take it.


Kirsten Reach is an editor at Melville House.