Tuesday, December 30, 2014

My New Career

as any form of legal eagle is not looking promising.

Over the last few weeks I have been trying to get my head around the changes to VAT.  (Very Angry Tax). It is boring so I'll give you the quickie version.

  • If you sell digital products to anyone in the EU (European Union) you must register, calculate, collect and pay VAT (Value added tax) in the country of your buyer. (yep PDF sewing patterns included).
  • You will need to register for this, in each country separately.
  • You will require two pieces of evidence proving where your customer is from and you will need to keep this information and the transaction information for ten years.

So if I have customers in the UK I must comply to the UK VAT thresholds and percentages, Sweden -different again, France, different again and so on and so forth.
I have followed about eleventy million threads and forums on this topic. I thought I had some answers but they have contradicted and counter-contradicted on a daily basis. 

I cannot see any possible way to make this work - and to be perfectly honest folks, I just want to make stuff. I don't want to be stressing over this crap and keeping peoples private information or spending my time learning about tax law.

As of January 1st I will no longer be able to offer PDF sales to people from the EU.  I will be limiting the locations available within my Big Cartel store to reflect this. 

I am really sorry guys. I only ever began PDF sales because so many people don't have stockists of paper patterns near them or even in their country.
If you want to grab anything from the shop before January 1st, just enter the code VATSUX into the checkout and you will receive 20% off your order no matter where you live.
I'll keep you posted.


  1. This is sad news indeed for small business, harder than it should be that is for sure.

  2. I had read a similar 'fate' on someone else's blog. Tax in any form is mind numbing, boring, boring, boring. You have probably taken the only option for now, but never fear, it may well change again ONE day.

  3. I'll be doing the same, like you say, I just want to sew and create, not deal with tax all day.

  4. excellent summing up Jod. including the headline, as coupon code!

    I don't think they were expecting people to notice the law. eejits are we thought this would only affect big companies, and that small content producers all sold via a 3rd party, which they thought would be liable.

    all the 3rd party 'marketplaces' folksy etsy craftsy (and ones I don't know the names of for software and music stuff) have said "not our problem" and left their customers scrambling.

    I think a lot of people are planning to ignore it, (or just haven't heard), on the basis that suing for VAT and imposing fines to 100s of 1000s of individuals worldwide is going to be impossible.

    sorry you've had the headache and can't fault your reasoning.

  5. Lots of comment on IG about this. Sounds confusing for everyone (and so unnecessary for a small business. ) I did a quick PDF order from V and Co while I could. Good luck with this, Jod!

  6. also, and by way of irony - digital age, right -

    if anyone EU is desperate for your patterns and there isn't a print copy available to send snail mail, you can put the pdf onto a CD and send it snail mail and it will be subject to the same (paid by customer via customs) taxes as any other physical goods. not your problem then.

  7. They really don't want small businesses to succeed at all do they! I love your coupon code. Best ever!

  8. Crazy stuff, talk about making things difficult for everyone involved.

  9. What a nightmare. I would have thought there'd be some minimum income requirements before busting your chops for that.

  10. Bloody hell. Enough red tape already :(

  11. This whole thing is making me sick, I'd been planning on adding patterns to my shop this year too. I'm fuming that as a registered business in the UK I don't matter enough to be informed of these changes as I bring in less than 81K a year!

    1. many people thought that folk not VAT registered didn't hear for that reason. turns out even the VAT registered business who have declared 'digital goods' as their main income weren't told either. they told no-one.

  12. How very frustrating. Can't you somehow 'give away' the PDFs and request an honorarium instead?

  13. I just keep thinking 'how the hell is some tax collector in his little cubicle in Antwerp going to collect tax from a softie-pattern maker in Oz?'

  14. So sorry you've had to do this Jod - it's an absolutely ridiculous bureaucratic waste of time and money from those arses in Brussels who are too busy filling in their huge expense claims to be in any way in touch with the real world.
    Totally sux, you got that right :/

    Moogs xx

  15. I looked at about 3 VAT articles and then had a bex and a good lie down.
    Good on you for persisting but I agree VAT sux.

  16. Ridiculous so hopefully something will happen to sort it all out. Sorry you have to go through all this rubbish.

  17. It only applies to instant downloads. If you personally email them the pattern, it doesn't apply

  18. What a massive bag of stinky EU plop. So sorry Jod. Not proud of this crap xxx


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