Petition to sign to try and stop VAT madness

thaddeus6th

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The EU is trying to impose a new VAT law which, according to the Guardian's Damien Walter [I follow him on Twitter] would mean every independent publisher in the world would have to register for VAT.

Details here:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/...AT-rules-threaten-to-kill-UK-micro-firms.html

Basically, they're trying to get money from Amazon and have cleverly come up with a way to be a massive pain in the arse for small firms and individuals. A huge firm like Amazon can easily handle the red tape, but for those nearer the lower end of the food chain this will be a substantial and unnecessary administrative burden.

I'm not someone who signs every petition going, but this one seems of direct interest to a great many of us here, whether readers, writers or publishers.


A petition calling on Business Secretary Vince Cable to uphold the current VAT exemption threshold is here:
https://www.change.org/p/vince-cabl...old-for-businesses-supplying-digital-products

Please sign it.

Apologies if this is in the wrong spot, it was hard to think where it should be.
 

thaddeus6th

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The Guardian's Damien Walter tweeted:
"Long story short, #vatmess will make selling ebooks and other digital goods IMPOSSIBLE. It's in contest for the ****tiest law ever written."

A Guardian journalist is hardly going to be a UKIPper.

And according to this layman's guide: http://rachelandrew.co.uk/archives/...cations-of-the-eu-vat-place-of-supply-change/

"After January 2015 if Tom sells an ebook to a customer in Germany with no VAT number he has to charge VAT at the German rate. This is because the “place of supply” for a digitally delivered service is changing to be the customer’s country NOT the supplier’s.

He also has to pay the VAT due to the German authorities, meaning he needs to register for VAT in Germany. In the UK however, as a VAT registered business, he will be able to register for the “Mini One Stop Shop” (MOSS), submit a return and pay the VAT due to them, and then MOSS will distribute it to each country."

It sounds utterly deranged.

Right now, I'm planning on withdrawing mybooks from sale prior to the proposal coming into effect. Depends on Cable's action (or lack thereof).
 

Brian G Turner

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every independent publisher in the world would have to register for VAT

I don't understand how this would apply, when no UK business can be expected to charge VAT if its turnover is below the VAT threshold?

My presumption has been that VAT MOSS can only apply to existing VAT-registered businesses. I've seen nothing definite to suggest that non-VAT registered businesses would actually be liable.
 

thaddeus6th

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I'm not sure, but the suggestion is there would be no threshold (so if you sold a 99p book to a German chap you'd need to be registered for VAT in Germany).

According to a diagram from HMRC on Twitter, selling only via third parties would mean you're not affected. To be honest, I'm still planning to withdraw my books, unless I get lots of similar and clear statements. If everything works out ok, re-releasing won't be hard. If it doesn't, I don't want to have to register for VAT all over the place.

It's such an unnecessary, stupid move. Disregarding writing and publishing, it'll really harm a large number of small businesses just to get something out of Amazon.
 

Brian G Turner

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I would be very surprised if small traders were affected - HMRC are clear that if you are not registered for VAT, you cannot charge VAT, and to register you need to expect to have revenues above the VAT threshold over the preceding 18 months of registration.
 

HareBrain

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I would be very surprised if small traders were affected - HMRC are clear that if you are not registered for VAT, you cannot charge VAT, and to register you need to expect to have revenues above the VAT threshold over the preceding 18 months of registration.

Small traders are affected under these plans -- that's why the hoo-haa.

But it doesn't affect anyone only selling through a third party (Amazon etc). It affects only those selling to other EU states through an automated selling procedure on their own website.
 

thaddeus6th

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But in other countries VAT kicks in at zero, and it seems (this is all a bit opaque to me) that there's also a zero threshold here.

It's crackers. Absolutely crackers. In trying to scrape a little bit of tax from Amazon, the EU is going to seriously harm small businesses, and thereby enhance Amazon's position in the market.

Edited extra bit: HareBrain, cheers for posting that. As I said, I still intend to withdraw my stuff (safety first).
 

Vertigo

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Sadly I think not. I suspect we will now be in the same position as, for example, American companies that have to register for UK VAT when selling into the UK/EU. I actually think this will now affect UK sellers worse than before.
 

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