EU VAT rules have been stifling start-ups and growth for thousands of micro and small businesses that sell digital products since January 2015, and things are not looking brighter for 2016 and beyond.
The new EU VAT legislation came into force in January 2015, and it brought with it corporate levels of regulation and administration to the kitchen tables of sole traders.
As we entered 2016, thousands of the smallest businesses still cannot physically comply with the data requirements and continue to face the stark choice – either to close their cherished businesses or to break the law.
If you are not yet aware of these EU VAT Rules, you can get all the information from the amazingly active campaign group over at the EU VAT ACTION website. It’s not light reading!
You’ll have gathered that the EU VAT rules affect us too, which is where the White Lane Studio Etsy shop comes in.
Why an Etsy Shop?
It’s virtually impossible to sell digital goods affordably with minimal administration time from your own website – and meet all the EUVAT rules effectively.
The only other option for micros is to sell via a larger ‘marketplace’ that can afford and has the technical support to meet the requirements.
Of course there are implications for the seller, by way of additional ‘marketplace’ fees, and for EU/UK based purchasers, there’s the addition of EU VAT on the products you purchase. There is nothing we can do about that unfortunately, unless…
Are You Based in the UK?
As White Lane Studio is not UK VAT registered, we do not charge UK VAT to UK based customers (subject to change) on any direct sales of our digital products.
However, as we are unable to robustly check your location technically (even IP checks are flawed) on instant download purchases on the website, we can currently only directly sell digital products to you, via a manual process, rather than as instant/automatic downloads.
Can’t wait? Buy Instant Downloads (incl vat) via our White Lane Studio Shop.
- Manual orders can be placed by messaging us your order through our contact form
- We will need to be satisfied (and be able to prove to the VAT man) that you are based in UK (sales to UK based customers are outside the EUVAT rules)
- Payment will be requested from you by return email
- Once your payment is received, your digital product will be sent to you manually
We know; it defeats the point of a quick and easy way to buy products online, but the ‘powers that be’ think this is a good idea (not much common sense?), and they hadn’t thought of the effects on micro and small businesses before they brought in the new rules!
- Individual digital art commissions are not affected by EUVAT as these are customised/bespoke digital items created just for you.
- Our physical products are all custom commissions or sold through local markets.
We actually stopped selling digital goods at the end of 2014, hoping that the EUVAT campaign would achieve a change to these EUVAT rules but, although some concessions were found, a satisfactory solution has not yet been reached that enables us to sell instant downloads independently from this website, with confidence.
White Lane Studio Shop
We can only apologise on behalf of short sighted politicians around the EU (and further afield) who don’t seem to understand how the internet, and convenience, works for people who support independent micro & small businesses.
Thank you for your time.
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