Well I have kindly been told by a person on Twitter after I left a message out there trying to confirm if the new European Union VAT tax would affect Australians and this is so, it does apply to anyone selling to an EU country from outside of the EU. Good old Twitter, quick responses too.
I guess people have to remember it is digital suppliers this year but it is planned to include all sales next year.
I don’t know how this will affect Ebay, PayPal, Etsy etc etc. As I mentioned in my last post the online music service Bandcamp has already on their blog said they will look after the taxes admin. You can read their site for more information. Sites like Etsy have said they will not be looking after the tax for consumers, mind you they have mainly non digital items. I guess we’ll see when it affects their business next year when all sales to the EU are affected.
From the 1/1/15 the European Commission introduced new VAT tax laws which will affect many small businesses and micro traders who provide digital services. This of course affects musicians as well as other digital artists. The new laws at this stage are for digital sales only with all other products supposedly to be covered by this law next year.
The new VAT tax law essentially requires businesses who sell digitally to pay the tax at the rate of, and record the details according to the country the digital download was sold to instead of where the supplier is located. In other words, the seller must find out where the buyer is located and then apply the local tax. This means if you sell from the UK to a French buyer you have to pay a French rate of tax to the French tax department. From what I gather there are 75 different taxes accross all the 28 markets.
I’m going to do more research in relation to an Australian seller who for example may sell a song download to a European buyer. This would affect myself and other non EU sellers of course. I only have music up for a focus and for the amount of sales I have it wouldn’t be worth the effort to go through the administration of the tax.
As a musician for example this will affect your sales when a person pays for a song download from the EU.
At the Bandcamp blog, Bandcamp say they will take care of the what sounds like to me, the admin of the VAT tax laws. You can read what they have to say and contact them for more information. I would imagine this would affect these type of services enormously too should a lot of independent musicians bow out due to it not being worth their while time wise to chase up and record sales for each territory they have a download in.
The idea of the tax is to stop large corporations setting up in low VAT tax countries and exploiting the system. This is all very good but as a by product it will wipe out many independent musicians, artists and all those small businesses involved in digital downloads and of course all items are to be part of this tax next year. Already I have read of musicians pulling out of online sites due to this whole process not being worth their while due to their small sales.
Information gathered by online businesses has to now be stored for 10 years, this is all your credit card and other relevant details which can include the information below. Sellers must store two pieces of non conflicting information about their buyer. I found this list at the screaming frog blog site:
The billing address of the customer
The Internet Protocol (IP) address of the device used by the customer
Customer’s bank details
The country code of SIM card used by the customer
The location of the customer’s fixed land line through which the service is supplied
Other commercially relevant information (for example, product coding information which electronically links the sale to a particular jurisdiction)
I will be looking into how this affects Australian digital businesses as I am still a touch vague on the laws around this.
In the meantime there is a petition going around the web which some of you may be interested in signing.
Well, one skill that some multinational management teams (or whoever takes this path can do) is to know how to make a packet when disaster strikes, during someone else’s disaster of course. There is an actual term for it politically it’s called “disaster capitalism”.
Small organisations should they be inclined and capable of a watered down version, can do this too. The bigger private corporations who have the skills and resources become involved with aid agencies who gather the funds. Then the multinational corporations use their experience to distribute and organise the $’s, of course.
The honeymoon doesn’t last long for the population involved in the disaster. The money given by citizens from around the world is ear marked into going into capital expenditure for the private contractors.
We as ordinary citizens are way behind (or should I say wouldn’t go there ethically) in what some people are capable of to make big bikkies.
Chasing the dollar is what it is all about. There are some real charmers in this world.
Here is a real world example from the Age yesterday concerning aceh.
Nigel Farage fresh from his parties bi-election win in Clacton is certainly if not already moving UKIP into being the third force in UK politics. As parties in the past similiar to UKIP, we see Farage the leader with the image, the personality the person who has developed a connection with the public. Without Farage the charasmatic leader (to some), would there be a UKIP? Well yes there would but a third force probably not. Having said this the reality right now is quite different and UKIP has many many followers, disenchanted voters who firstly seem to have given up on the Tories and now are totally fed up with all the major parties.
The road back for the Conservative / Labour / Liberal parties is a long one. This time around one will scrape through at the next general election but what will the public be faced with at the following election. If Nigel Farage has his way, UKIP.
The public is sick to the core of austerity measures, cuts to disability, the market running social services, think G4S, Serco there. Cuts to health and welfare, pay rates that haven’t risen in real terms for years. The messages from the three major parties are both stale and dry. The public don’t really believe, they would like to but now are unable. Years of the major parties being on message has left a dire toll, the citizens aren’t listening but they are looking and there minds and eyes fall to UKIP, to Nigel Farage.
The industrial class have blown it once again and left the door open for the far right of politics to sneek in. The English version may seem tame to some but things change. Take a look at the French far right and the Greek Golden Dawn parties and others re-organising for their new world, our new world if we let them in.
British conservative MP and currently Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Iain Duncan Smith says “Aspiration, it seems, is in danger of becoming the preserve of the wealthy” ironically this is about all that i can agree with him on, although where the “aspirational class” sits and who they are in a society is not easy to see.
The erosion of the middle classes is well and truly in motion, if you are from the aspirational class your enduring belief in social mobility will be severly dented in the coming years. The other irony is that in a more equal society everyone is likely to fair better, including the “aspirational class”.
By not raising taxes for the rich and cutting welfare for the less fortunate the end result could be higher crime rates, lower educational standards and the usual suspects in the social ills catalogue.
But then i would imagine Iain Duncan Smith already knows this.
This was another comment of mine in relation to this article in the Guardian UK.
The article relates to how easily we all give our private information away without a thought for what happens to it in the future. There is a horizon and we are heading towards it, the reckoning day when our privacy will be used possibly against us, unlike now where we don’t feel, notice or care, I have a feeling we will one day. At bottom an individuals private information can become of use politically, is it a matter of time?
You may feel George Orwells 1984 has come and gone and it wasn’t too bad, has it come yet?
This is my comment in the Guardian UK.
“Our current crop of politicians/security services whoever, deserve the 10,200 pounds themselves right now. They have managed to accomplish what one would think is the impossible and that is too:
1. Get a whole pile of citizens to vote for policies that are not in their own interest whatsoever and:
2. Hand over all their private, confidential (you might say classified) information willy nilly to governments and business without a care in the world.