Thursday, 11 December 2014

Sitting in the snow? And VAT problems.

We have had 10 power cuts since Tuesday night, high winds, blizzards and falling overnight: about 4 inches of snow. Our electricity has just come back on so I'm sneaking this through while it lasts. So much for updating the infra structure and replacing power poles over the past few years! I'll have a few choice words to say to Scottish Power. It all looks very scenic but needless to say it's also very cold. Thank goodness we have a generator so we can switch our heating system (which runs on LPG) on.

We were reconnected at 11.55am and the first thing I felt like doing is ordering something from Amazon, just because I now can. Mad or what!

By the way you might have noticed that the sidebar was in a bit of a state of confusion. I have now sorted that out, I hope, and I have also removed all links to order the digital catalogues of my previous two exhibitions, the one in 2011 and the 52 Journals one this year.In the meantime the printed versions of the catalogues remain available from Blurb. Order by clicking on the image of the catalogues in the sidebar.

This is because digital downloads will be subject to VAT or it's equivalent in the EU country the buyer of such potential downloads resides from the 1st Jan. 2015 rather than in the country the seller is located. In order to implement this I would have to admin this as well as pay the VAT to the country concerned. You might have noticed on my Facebook page that I have signed two petitions, one to our business secretary Vince Cable (won't be voting for him, although to be fair I hadn't anyway) and one to the EU Commissioner in question.
The idea was to make huge conglomerates like Amazon and Google pay more tax (they currently hide in low VAT EU or outside the EU countries) but in fact what is now happening is that small businesses,( usually only one person) trying to make some extra money selling patterns and the like digitally directly to buyers, are being lumbered with admin they simply can't cope with. They are being forced to register for VAT in every EU country, when their income is below the threshold for VAT in the UK. As a result they will probably move their digital sales to third parties such as, guess who, Amazon, Apple and such. Which in turns means Amazon will no doubt still be better off while many small enterprises will cease trading. I certainly won't be selling any digital products to any EU country other than the UK and I'm not alone. So what has this EU rule achieved? Less trading within the EU area. Which seems rather contrary to what the EU is meant to be about. Why are small traders such as us capable of thinking this through and EU officials as well as our own government are not? I could answer that but won't!  No rudeness or nastiness on this blog.

Sorry, this is boring stuff if it doesn't concern you directly. And it won't be the end of it. At the moment it only concerns digital products but more will be added in future.  If you want digital quilt patterns, ebooks, emagazines, online classes etc. and you live in the EU, you might want to sign this petition too. Here is the link. Be quick though, the EU  administration goes on holiday on the 16th December (while the rest of us beaver on!) and the 1st Jan is ever so close. More information can also be found on the blog of my friend and fellow quilter Susan Briscoe here.


theresa martin said...

Sorry to hear about the new rules. You are not the first blogger I've come across to stop the digital downloads because of the complicated procedures.
The photos are lovely, but it does look cold! Hang in there Frieda!

Susan Briscoe said...

Thanks for linking to my blog Frieda. I can understand why you've removed the links to your digital downloads, although it looks like we may be able to send digital files as e mail attachments - at least, if you believe how HMRC seem to think it works. The problem with this of course is that digital files with lots of images, like your e catalogues, are HUGE files, and many people's e mail inboxes won't be able to accept them. Like you, I think this is a ridiculous example of a sledgehammer to crack a nut and does nothing to further trade within the EU or between the EU and the rest of the world - a backward step!!!

Leslie said...

Governments - can't live with them, can't blow them up.

Meanwhile, your yard is lovely.

Meg Leach said...

Hi Frieda, don't know if this will help at all, but my reading is that you certainly do not need to register with each EU company -- you can register with MOSS (a VAT 'Mini One Stop Shop) and they sort out the admin and separate payments. All you need to do is keep a record of your EU sales and make one quarterly online report to the HMRC MOSS scheme. And one quarterly payment. You can read the details on the UK.Gov site:
If you are making only a handful of sales to the continent, the admin work wouldn't be too cumbersome. Or shouldn't be -- you never know with HMRC! UK download sales would still be exempt of VAT. Hope this helps, Meg.

Susan Briscoe said...

As far as we know at the moment, you can only register with MOSS if you are already VAT registered, which we aren't.


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