VAT Changes on 1 January 2015

VATOver the weekend I wrote a 1500 word rant about the current storm surrounding impending VAT changes on 1 January 2015 but out of deference to the people I care about who are fronting the campaign, I have trashed it. I don’t want to rain on their parade.

Suffice to say that here is a piece written by a woman whose opinions closest to my own, by Rosie Slosek of One Man Band Accounting.  Nice job, Rosie!

And this is also a useful piece to read, by Heather Burns of Idea 15 Web Design.

And so is this, by Tim Gray of Words That Change the World

Here are some more thoughts which might be helpful if you are worried about this VAT thing.

1. Don’t panic and don’t let this VAT  drama make you fearful. Keep yourself in a good vibration.

2. Do read those three links at the very least. Gen up. Be informed. Then decide if this is your battle.

3.  There WILL be workarounds. I will be helping all my clients to find one which works for them, in the event they actually need it. Looking for a workaround to any and all blocks is just what we entrepreneurs do. We crack on regardless.

4. If – for a short while – we have no choice but not to sell our digital content direct to people living in EU countries, then the problem may solve itself given a bit of time. It will divide the world in to two halves, those who are free to easily access anything digital they want direct from the supplier/creator and those who can’t. The voice of those who can’t will eventually become deafening, because it will be unfair, and they will lobby their representatives across the EU and the solution will come from the inside, not from us on the outside. The Brits are already unpopular enough in the EU with our insistence on being different and unique and holding ourselves aloof and asking for special circumstances. And this is what this legislation is all about, being obliged by Europe to fall into line. I don’t blame HMRC for this one although obviously much could have been handled better. In the UK we like a nice high VAT threshold precisely because it encourages entrepreneurship and people like us to work for ourselves.

5. Meanwhile, let the platforms take the strain. There is already a workaround in existence that suffices for now. There’s really no difference between driving traffic to your own sales page for your ebook or to your product page on Amazon, except needing to sell a few more to pay for Amazon’s percentage and that wouldn’t do you any harm either. There are already all sorts of platforms in place which you can use to sell digital content to EU clients if you insist. They’ll do until other better ones pop up if a demand is created by the legislation coming into force on 1 January. If.

6. Focus on what you can do, not what you can’t.

7. Look for your workaround. There’ll be a solution for all, I can pretty much guarantee it. Either you are a micro business headed up by a creative entrepreneur who loves this sort of challenge, or you are big enough to bite the VAT bullet. Which is it? Now’s a good time to decide. Flex that muscle, because…guess what? This isn’t the last time such an “opportunity” will present itself to you in business. This is precisely the name of our game.

Here’s a link to the proposed VAT changes.

And here’s a link to the petition if you’d like to add your voice to the campaign.


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