Now that most people know that VAT will soon (1st Jan) be charge at place of purchase rather than sale on digital goods and all of the questions have been asked (If not answered) I will share with you what I know.
Can I just email my crochet patterns to add minimal human interaction? yes, yes, yes, no actually you have to personalise each copy, yes, no, yes. clear? thought not.
What do I need to do if I sell on platforms (Etsy, Rav, Craftsy)? *nothing the platform will take care of things. em… no, we won’t. so what should I do then?* repeat from * to * ad nauseum. Only Rav have put any effort in to sorting this out, and they are a teeny, not much bigger than me, team. (OK having Bob must help).
How am I supposed top collect the required three bits of proof of country of residence? any three will do as long as two and non contradictory, IP address, postal address, bank address, phone number. But what if I can’t collect those because I use PayPal? it’s OK, any three will do…
Supposing I DO manage to collect the information, how am I supposed to comply with the data protection laws as a one woman outfit? ….
Why were we given no notice of this? this new legislation was passed six years ago, every one was given plenty of time. Really? I do not know of anyone that has had more than a month or two to prepare? HMRC told everyone AGES ago. Well who did they tell? they didn’t even know about us one woman shows until we tweeted the life out of this.
If this was all decided six years ago how did the EU know how big the digital world was going to become? I didn’t even have a smart phone then, and any photos I took on my phone back then were teeny when viewed on the computer. emm…
If I hear “your accountant…” one more time, I don’t have an accountant, I don’t have employees, I have a shelf, a stash, some hooks, and a tablet.
Some of the comments on this blog post by the European Commission are side splittingly hilarious
OK, I hear you cry but I don’t sell digital products why should I care? Because a lot, and I do mean A LOT, of indi designers are packing up and going home, they will not be selling patterns any longer, so you can’t have them.
A lot have decided to only Email patterns, so that’s your impulse crafting out of the window, on more starting within seconds of seeing the pattern.
Some are even sticking to physical products, this means waiting for the post man.
Setting the world back SIX years (that number seems familiar)
SOME are even talking of refusing to sell to EU or cross border EU customers.
And then we have price, YOU will have to pay VAT on patterns BUT if you are in the UK it will be 20%, if you live in Denmark it is 25%, in Switzerland you lucky chaps it’s 8%. SO either designers increase their prices by 25.5% (Iceland) because let’s face it few will be reaching their domestic threshold so probably haven’t been paying VAT and they got more profit on Swiss sales or they use a platform that charges VAT on top of a base price so the Swiss will be getting the digital products for quite a bit less.
With two weeks to go I still have no clue what is the best solution for me, I have a folder full of internet links that are designed to help me but HMRC keep changing things, most of the platforms are sending the same “copy and paste” responses that they are looking in to it, and emailing MEPs is getting “copy and paste” responses at best, ignored, or even demonstrating less knowledge of this than I have.
We shall have to see what the next two weeks hold
P.S don’t forget that they plan on instigating these rules for physical goods in two years