In a previous post, I outlined the massive and crippling problems caused by the new EU VAT rules – so badly thought out that they threaten a vast amount of small enterprise, including this press. Now, in January, the changes have rolled out for digital products, with all products following some time down the line if we don’t find a way to stop it.
Just over one week into the digital side of the VAT apocalypse, we are starting to get a picture of the damage it is doing and the results are pretty much exactly as predicted – the exact same miserable litany that the activists have been trying to get into the heads of the officials ever since this came to light: business closures, the EU excluded from sales all over the world, even quite major 3rd party platforms unable to comply, even some accountants washing their hands of small businesses because they simply can’t cope with the problems. A new article on the EUVATACTION website details some of what is happening – it’s gloomy reading but kind of vital. However, please remember that this is just the small percentage of companies who have actually talked to EUVATAction, and that this still excludes vast numbers around the world who don’t even know about it. I have personally been in touch with several relevant providers of digital materials abroad (mostly ebooks) and not one had even heard of this yet.
How we got into this disastrous situation is still beyond me, but i will not start ranting about that again – you can read my frothings on my previous post if it gives you pleasure. But it is absolutely vital to get the message out that wherever you are in the world, and whatever you are doing, this affects you – not just sellers and publishers. As buyers in the EU, you are now cut off from material. As writers anywhere in the world, your markets have been messed around and limited. And of course the same thing applies to every other subject aside from the literary as well. Unless you are really happy to do all your research and shopping on Amazon, this affects you or will do if they roll it out for all products as they plan.
The mobilization of activism and pressure against this centred round EUVATACTION and certain facebook groups has been one of the biggest and best organised i have ever seen – that is the one comfort in this bizarre business.