No, it’s not about the EU’s cashbooks never balancing. It’s about two separate things with the EU as a common theme.
First, there is Outrage! within UKIP because Smoky Nige has accepted EU funding for his new grouping.
I don’t see the problem. As the article says, if Smoky Nige’s anti-EU group refused the money, the EU would give it to a pro-EU group instead. The EU will never consider giving a single penny of tax back to the taxpayer. Neither will the Government – in whatever country. Once they have it, they will spend it.
Besides, this is the EU having to pay its own tormentors. To a smoker that looks like karma.
Second, the EU have decided to change the VAT rules on eBooks. Paper books are VAT-free but eBooks are not and never have been. They were VAT-ed at a low rate and you paid the rate that applied in the country you bought it from. Now they are to be fully VAT-ed and you pay the rate in your country, no matter which country the servers reside in.
A snippet from Amazon’s email to authors on the matter (note that this is not an exclusively Amazon issue, it applies to all eBook retailers operating in the EU and the complexity and expense will destroy the small ones. Which is probably the point of it):
On January 1, 2015, European Union (EU) tax laws regarding the taxation of digital products (including eBooks) will change: previously, Value Added Tax (VAT) was applied based on the seller’s country – as of January 1st, VAT will be applied based on the buyer’s country. As a result, starting on January 1st, KDP authors must set list prices to be inclusive of VAT. We will also make a one-time adjustment for existing books published through KDP to move from VAT-exclusive list prices to list prices which include VAT. We’ll put these changes into effect starting January 1st; you may always change your prices at any time, but you do not need to take any action unless you wish to do so.
It is not yet clear what happens if you buy an eBook from a server based in the USA, but the rules suggest that you would pay VAT at your local rate, no matter what. The interesting part is – what if someone in the USA buys a copy from an EU server? They should pay no VAT at all in that case.
It means that after Jan 1st I will have to set an eBook price for every EU country based on their current VAT theft, and adjust it for each book every time they change their theft rate. Or I can set one fixed price and just put up with lower royalties for the same book when it’s bought in a high-VAT country.
This is not good news for authors at all. It makes self-publishing and small-publishing murderously complex. All those low-priced eBooks are going to be more expensive from January 1st but the authors get not a penny more. Neither do publishers or booksellers. All the extra money goes into the EU tax pot to be wasted.
So yes, I am with Smoky Nige on this one. The more he bleeds from those damn vampires the better. I’d rather see the money go to those who want to put a stake through that vile EU heart than to any other cause at all.
Of course, I’d much rather the EU or government didn’t steal so much of it in the first place – but that will never be an option.
They are addicted to other people’s money. It’s so much easier than actually working for it.