Due to new EU VAT legislation we are unable to sell 'Instant Download' products to customers in any EU countries outside the UK from 1st January 2015, through the automated system on this website.
The countries affected are Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Irish Republic, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden.
Please read the whole of this page to understand what the problem is and why we have had to make this decision.
From 1st January 2015 the VAT rules for digital download products changed. VAT now needs to be paid in the country where the product is delivered to, and not in the country where the product is supplied from. Digital download products are those which are ordered and delivered online with no or minimal human involvement by the seller.
The legislation is intended to target multi-nationals like Apple and Amazon who trade from wherever the VAT rate is lowest. We fully agree with that.
However for small businesses this is a huge problem and expense, which will cause many to stop trading.
We have considered the situation in some detail and taken professional advice. The options are.
If we chose option 1 or 2 the amount of work required to collect all the information (some of which is not readily available) and complete the necessary paperwork, plus accountants fees etc, would be vastly more than the value of those sales. We would also have to register as a data controller due to the amount of data we would be required to keep and the length of time we would need to keep it for (10 years).
In addition with option 2 the VAT threshold is zero, compared to £81k for physical products. Our turnover is nowhere near £81k and we do not want to be forced to register for VAT on our whole business, just for a few digital download sales in the EU.
We have looked at option 3 and at the moment there are no companies that can handle the huge number of products we sell. In addition the commission and fees they take (as well as the VAT) would mean the prices would have to increase significantly.
So, reluctantly, we have chosen option 4. Although this is unfair to customers in those countries, we really have no choice. Digital downloads to those countries are only about 5% of the sales through this website, and the loss of that income will have much less impact on our business than any of the other options.
Customers in those countries can still request an individual quotation for the products and order manually as detailed above, as this takes the amount of work to process the order above 'minimal'. Not ideal but better than nothing.
We are still hoping that common sense will prevail within the European Commission and that a sensible VAT threshold will be applied to these sales, to help small businesses like us.
If you want to know more about this and perhaps join the campaigns to change it, please see the following website and Facebook group:
You could also write to your MP and MEP, and ask them to raise it with the appropriate ministers.
We are really sorry about this, however at the moment there is nothing we can do to change it. Thank you for reading this and for your understanding.