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Author Topic: EU VAT Changes from January 2015! ALERT  (Read 38311 times)

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Semmick Photo

« Reply #25 on: December 19, 2014, 14:50 »
+3
Hi all, its a sad reason to return here, but I have to disable my sales section on my symbiostock site as there is no way I can comply with the new EU VAT legislation  unless someone can offer me a workaround. Who else with a symbiostock site keeps selling images to EU customers after 1 Jan, and how do you go comply with the new EU VAT rules?

Thanks,
Ron


« Reply #26 on: December 19, 2014, 15:19 »
+2
My site is not really active (I haven't had any time to devote to it in the last several months) but I'm thinking of just putting something on the front page saying something like "I'm very sorry, but this site is unable to process sales to customers in the European Union because of complex tax requirements".

I don't have any software solution to stop someone from buying, but it would alert an honest customer that they couldn't do business safely there. I realize that it's more pressing for EU residents that for US residents like me, and Leo did reappear to say there was something coming for VAT support, but I haven't the inclination to get involved with another roller coaster ride at present :)

Semmick Photo

« Reply #27 on: December 19, 2014, 15:29 »
+1
Maybe through integration of the payment system Leo can block customers from the 27 EU countries from purchasing an image and instead have a pop up appear with the warning. Thanks Jo Ann, sounds like an idea.

« Reply #28 on: December 19, 2014, 18:56 »
0
I've added the text to my home page. Possibly the EU will change, but I'm not worried about blocking anyone - if they buy in spite of the notice, I'm not going to worry.

« Reply #29 on: December 19, 2014, 19:59 »
0
My site is not really active (I haven't had any time to devote to it in the last several months) but I'm thinking of just putting something on the front page saying something like "I'm very sorry, but this site is unable to process sales to customers in the European Union because of complex tax requirements".

I don't have any software solution to stop someone from buying, but it would alert an honest customer that they couldn't do business safely there. I realize that it's more pressing for EU residents that for US residents like me, and Leo did reappear to say there was something coming for VAT support, but I haven't the inclination to get involved with another roller coaster ride at present :)


JoAnn, if you are located in the US, does this even  affect you?  If European buyer dl one of your images, what can  EU do about it?  Will they really waste time to come after small website owners in non-EU countries like US?

« Reply #30 on: December 19, 2014, 22:30 »
+2
My site is not really active (I haven't had any time to devote to it in the last several months) but I'm thinking of just putting something on the front page saying something like "I'm very sorry, but this site is unable to process sales to customers in the European Union because of complex tax requirements".

I don't have any software solution to stop someone from buying, but it would alert an honest customer that they couldn't do business safely there. I realize that it's more pressing for EU residents that for US residents like me, and Leo did reappear to say there was something coming for VAT support, but I haven't the inclination to get involved with another roller coaster ride at present :)


JoAnn, if you are located in the US, does this even  affect you?  If European buyer dl one of your images, what can  EU do about it?  Will they really waste time to come after small website owners in non-EU countries like US?

Technically, I would be required to do all the paperwork and submit to the various countries the buyers were identified in - it's where they are, not where I am, that matters. But in practical terms I can't imagine anyone would bother. With a statement, I can at least be considerate of any EU buyers who wouldn't want to get themselves in trouble with their local taxing authorities.

On the other hand, if the authorities were practical and thoughtful, they wouldn't have created this disaster for small companies when they were really going after amazon and the biggies dodging high VAT locations in the first place. Not to mention they wouldn't have that problem if they had common tax rates accross the EU... but I digress :)


Hobostocker

    This user is banned.
« Reply #32 on: December 20, 2014, 06:51 »
0
i'm very positive about this as the actual e-commerce laws are totally wild west !

besides, i can't wait for this to hit bloggers and freetards in their as-s, they will now have to pay just in order to exist and will realize nothing is free in this world especially stolen images !
« Last Edit: December 20, 2014, 06:56 by Hobostocker »

« Reply #33 on: December 20, 2014, 07:49 »
+1
i'm very positive about this as the actual e-commerce laws are totally wild west !

besides, i can't wait for this to hit bloggers and freetards in their as-s, they will now have to pay just in order to exist and will realize nothing is free in this world especially stolen images !

Agreed!

We might also find out soon how many agencies on the "Microstock Poll Results" list will get affected with this.

« Reply #34 on: December 20, 2014, 08:15 »
+1
Will this affect sites like Shutterstock, Istock and others?


Hobostocker

    This user is banned.
« Reply #35 on: December 20, 2014, 08:19 »
0
We might also find out soon how many agencies on the "Microstock Poll Results" list will get affected with this.

it's a matter of accountability first and foremost.

if i sell you something from abroad and it's a total scam you're pretty much defenceless unless you've the money to hire a lawyer in my country of origin and sue me, that's never gonna happen for anything worth less than a few 1000s of euro.

there must be billions of euros scammed every year on ebay and on any medium/small e-commerce site, and apart for physical goods what about insurance, service, digital downloads ? you've no way to cover your as-s even if you're buying inside the EU from france to germany, no matter if the border is next door one hour drive from you.

as it is now, the EU is merely a banking union, anything else is still divided in monolithic states and micro-states, each one with different laws and again if you're a buyer you're F-ed in case in troubles.

with this law at least they're raising the standards a bit, not too much, but better than nothing.
if it forces micro agencies to raise the bar also on pricing i see nothing wrong, people should better get used to the idea that e-biz doesn't mean cheap biz just because it's digital !





Hobostocker

    This user is banned.
« Reply #36 on: December 20, 2014, 08:20 »
0
Will this affect sites like Shutterstock, Istock and others?

in the worst scenario they just open a rep.office in UK/Germany/France/Italy/Spain which are the top-5 markets in EU.


« Reply #37 on: December 20, 2014, 08:28 »
+1
Will this affect sites like Shutterstock, Istock and others?

in the worst scenario they just open a rep.office in UK/Germany/France/Italy/Spain which are the top-5 markets in EU.

so what you think does it means to us, contributors?

less earnings (taxes excluded from our payments)?

in some EU countries small businesses (earning less than for example 40k $ annualy) doesn't have to be included in VAT system...

« Reply #38 on: December 20, 2014, 08:35 »
0
We might also find out soon how many agencies on the "Microstock Poll Results" list will get affected with this.

it's a matter of accountability first and foremost.

if i sell you something from abroad and it's a total scam you're pretty much defenceless unless you've the money to hire a lawyer in my country of origin and sue me, that's never gonna happen for anything worth less than a few 1000s of euro.

there must be billions of euros scammed every year on ebay and on any medium/small e-commerce site, and apart for physical goods what about insurance, service, digital downloads ? you've no way to cover your as-s even if you're buying inside the EU from france to germany, no matter if the border is next door one hour drive from you.

as it is now, the EU is merely a banking union, anything else is still divided in monolithic states and micro-states, each one with different laws and again if you're a buyer you're F-ed in case in troubles.

with this law at least they're raising the standards a bit, not too much, but better than nothing.
if it forces micro agencies to raise the bar also on pricing i see nothing wrong, people should better get used to the idea that e-biz doesn't mean cheap biz just because it's digital !

WELL SAID!...let's see who really cares about buyers and therefore contributors too.

« Reply #39 on: December 20, 2014, 08:42 »
+1
if it forces micro agencies to raise the bar also on pricing i see nothing wrong

I really hope you are right but unfortunately I think they will find this just as nice new excuse to lower contributor earnings.

sure I hope I'm wrong.

ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #40 on: December 20, 2014, 10:48 »
+3
Will this affect sites like Shutterstock, Istock and others?

in the worst scenario they just open a rep.office in UK/Germany/France/Italy/Spain which are the top-5 markets in EU.

so what you think does it means to us, contributors?

less earnings (taxes excluded from our payments)?

in some EU countries small businesses (earning less than for example 40k $ annualy) doesn't have to be included in VAT system...

Presumably the big companies will need to expand their accounting systems to cope with this.
At the moment, as I live in the UK, if I was going to buy a credit bundle on iS, I get a price, then the VAT is added on during the checkout procedure.
So we get the same amount as if we sold to the US, but the buyer has to pay VAT (and a currency hike).
Presumably this is the same procedure in all the big companies.
The costs of the new system could be considerable, but I've no idea whether they can be mitigated in some way.
Seems like typical EU bureaucracy gone wild, like in the early days. Sometimes the costs of operating them must outweigh the money raised, but I suppose it keeps people in jobs.  ::) Sometimes the anomalies have been ridiculous, e.g. what counted as a 'cake' (no VAT) vs a 'biscuit' (UK usage, not US) (VAT payable).

So, before this when it was a generic EU VAT which was imposed, where did the revenue raised go to? EU funds to run the system of collection?


« Reply #41 on: December 20, 2014, 13:22 »
0
...If you are a non-EU individual seller, a brief warning on the checkout screen to indicate that you do not collect VAT, somewhat like Jo Ann has suggested, should be sufficient for now until the situation has been clarified by the EU ...


Thanks for bringing up that the checkout page - for Symbiostock it's the cart page - should have a notice. I've added one there as well. Here's a screenshot of the two places I've added text, on the front page and the cart page. Click on the thumbnail to see full size.


« Reply #42 on: December 20, 2014, 13:59 »
0
Will this affect sites like Shutterstock, Istock and others?


in the worst scenario they just open a rep.office in UK/Germany/France/Italy/Spain which are the top-5 markets in EU.


Offices everywhere is not needed.... MOSS is the solution.
The MOSS (mini one stop shop) is system introduced to avoid the necessity to register in each country in which you makes sales within the EU other than your own country of residence.
http://euvataction.org/key-facts/

« Reply #43 on: December 21, 2014, 02:09 »
+2
Thanks for bringing up that the checkout page - for Symbiostock it's the cart page - should have a notice. I've added one there as well. Here's a screenshot of the two places I've added text, on the front page and the cart page. Click on the thumbnail to see full size.

I should first reiterate that I am not handing out official legal advice, and everyone should check this with their own financial and legal consultants. But it seems to me that this kind of notification works just fine temporarily over the next few months for non-EU sellers to at least indicate to buyers that there may be issues. The situation is fluid and there is still uncertainty about how seriously any government outside of the EU (and some inside) takes these changes to VAT collection requirements.

If the minimum VAT revenue thresholds that we have now are reinstated before the end of Q1 2015, which I think is a strong possibility, the issue will be moot for most individual sellers and small agencies (like mine).  However, this could just be the tip of the iceberg as far as global taxation changes go over the next several years, so it definitely doesn't hurt to begin investigating options to deal with this properly.

Hobostocker

    This user is banned.
« Reply #44 on: December 21, 2014, 03:44 »
-3
so what you think does it means to us, contributors?

less earnings (taxes excluded from our payments)?

in some EU countries small businesses (earning less than for example 40k $ annualy) doesn't have to be included in VAT system...

i think the obvious legal loophole could be to open a Swiss bank account and getting paid there, it's cheap and easy and you don't need to live/work in switzerland, once it's open you get a debit card and everything else will be done online.

another solution could be for agencies to start allowing payments in Bitcoins or other dodgy virtual currencies ?


Hobostocker

    This user is banned.
« Reply #45 on: December 21, 2014, 03:57 »
+5
WELL SAID!...let's see who really cares about buyers and therefore contributors too.

the EU was a monster from the start, it was only designed as a banking union allowing people to freely move and work in the EU territory but apart from that they never even tried to unify the justice system, the armed forces, the legislation about commerce and e-commerce, it's a huge mess and nothing but a soup of dozens of states each one with different laws that clash against each other.

in some countries soft drugs are fully legal but if you cross the border you're going to jail ... in germany brothels are legal but in france now paying for sex is a crime .. one country can have a taxation of up to 45% while the other country next door is just 15-20% ..

on top of this each country has different laws regarding land/home property and of course each one has different policies about jobs, pension schemes, disability, welfare, healthcare, insurance, postal service, education, pretty much everything !

so, it's not surprising that now the Eurocrats are messing up with e-commerce as well, on top of single-country VAT laws you can expect different e-commerce laws coming in from each country, some will probably force you to have a VAT number even to open a blog, others will be totally liberal, it's going to be a mess as usual and as always the best place to stick with is the UK and Germany in my opinion.


Semmick Photo

« Reply #46 on: December 21, 2014, 07:28 »
0
United States is no difference

« Reply #47 on: December 21, 2014, 07:29 »
+2


i think the obvious legal loophole could be to open a Swiss bank account and getting paid there, it's cheap and easy and you don't need to live/work in switzerland, once it's open you get a debit card and everything else will be done online.

another solution could be for agencies to start allowing payments in Bitcoins or other dodgy virtual currencies ?

don't know how serious or sarcastic you were in this post but there is a reason why small business are excluded for VAT in some European countries

if this move will get contributors earning less and less and agencies don't take this part as their expenses it looks like every few days there is news in which we contributors are more screwed

international stock photographer/illustrator union (syndicate) looks like something we all had to do long time ago...

i'm first who are willing to pay part of my earnings to be part of that union if it can participate in price/commision regulation and things like that




« Reply #48 on: December 21, 2014, 09:34 »
-4
United States is no difference

The US is completely different - you have no idea what you're talking about.  Why would you even mention the US in a thread about European VAT anyway?

« Reply #49 on: December 21, 2014, 10:11 »
+4
"Why would you even mention the US in a thread about European VAT anyway?"
Because the VAT changes will affect US based companies who are selling to EU buyers.


 

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