8 December 2014

Micro Businesses (including writers) told to 'break the law'

Oh dear, the writing life gets worse. Now we are being advised by our own UK Government to break the law - so long as we don't go moaning back to it when we get hit by the consequences.

This follows on from my blog about imminent price rises on ebooks due to a change in the way VAT (Value Added Tax) is applied to sales throughout the European Union, all 28 countries. Businesses making digital sales will have to apply VAT at a rate dependent upon where the purchaser lives. Except, of course, that most digital-only sales are made via email addresses which aren't boundary defined. 

Micro businesses - that's what we are now, according to the government, no longer sole traders - have only just found out about this which comes into effect on 1st January 2015. As a consequence a last minute challenge is being promoted via Change.org asking the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation & Skills to uphold the current VAT exemption threshold, which this new EU Directive drives a juggernaut through. Earlier today Vince Cable MP responded. 

I shall not bore you with my thoughts but instead point you to the blog of Penny Grubb, writer and past Chair of the Authors' Licensing & Collecting Society, so she understands the finer points and can untangle the tangles far better than me. And she does so. With gusto. If Vince Cable's ears aren't burning it's because he's made turning a deaf ear into an artform.

The late Joseph Heller, American satirical novelist and author of Catch 22, will be sitting on his cloud, weeping with laughter.

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