VAT Madness

Image by Charles Roffey and released under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Image by Charles Roffey and released under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

You may have noticed that all of the prices for our audiobooks are now displayed with the suffix ‘excluding VAT’. So, what has changed?

For the record, not everyone will need to pay VAT. If you are buying an audiobook from us and are located in the UK, the US or anywhere else that isn’t within the EU you won’t be charged VAT. That leaves the 27 EU member states – not including the UK.

On the first of January this year the EU brought in new regulations relating to cross-border digital purchases. From that day onwards VAT has to be charged based upon the location of the buyer and there is no threshold for participation.

This has forced our hand – we now have to┬ácharge VAT on all purchases to the 27 EU member states for our audiobooks.

As you can imagine, we are not pleased about this. We have been put in the position by politicians who don’t understand the online digital marketplace.

To be frank, the whole scheme is a mess and makes very little sense for small businesses. It has all been summed up quite nicely in this blog post by writer Hannah Kate with a nice metaphor about bananas.

We’re campaigning to get a fair threshold introduced into this system (allowing small businesses like us to not have to worry until we hit a predetermined income level) and would love it if you could join us too. A great resource for petitions to sign, people to email and so on is available on the EU VAT action website.

In the meantime, we could avoid charging tax on EU member state purchases by shipping our audiobooks on USB stick or CD. However this would also make them cost more. But if you are willing to pay more to stick it to the man, do let us know and we’ll look into it.

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