Beginning in January 2015, a new set of regulations for digital downloads will go into effect. There is no longer an income threshold for sellers of digital products, and sellers must now charge VAT based on the customer's location instead of their own. This means that any seller world wide who plans on selling within the 28 EU countries will be required to register to collect and remit taxes to each country, even if they only sell one download to that country. The law was intended to go after huge corporations who plant in Luxembourg for the lower VAT rates on digital items, but since they took away the income threshold it now affects micro businesses world wide. Sellers would also need to collect two pieces of their customer's personal information (3 if one contradicts the other) and store it for 10 years - which requires the seller to register for data protection on EU protected servers.
It's become a very complicated issue. As per the new regulations, marketplaces are supposed to be responsible for the VAT instead of the individual sellers. However, Etsy has decided that they are going to go around the law and are refusing to hold up their end. This leaves the individual sellers on their own with a huge administrative burden.
The worst news is that this same regulation is supposed to go into effect for physical goods within 1-5 years (so as early as 2016).
As a tiny home-based business with only myself as an employee I find myself unable to handle this administrative load that comes with researching, collecting, and remitting taxes (and loads of paperwork) to any country other than my own. I also do not want to be held liable for the security my customers' personal data.
Beginning January 1, 2015 my PDF tutorials and patterns will no longer be available on Etsy - due to the new regulations the EU has passed regarding digital downloads. I have been searching high and low for a viable alternative of a marketplace who will handle the VAT (and the liability) for their sellers, and I believe I have found one - Payhip. You will be able to find links to each PDF I have available here on my website. Before, any pattern sales through my website were manually emailed, but they are now instant downloads! Yay!
Now, once this VAT law hits physical goods I may just not be able to sell my handmade flowers internationally. :(
PS - I am currently in development of another pattern. This one is a much smaller project so it shouldn't take me very long - hopefully. :) I will also be making Technique Tutorials for those who want to learn specific techniques without purchasing a full tutorial.
Here's what I've been beading lately! A few bead woven pendants, some black shoe clips, and a custom ordered set of barrettes.
Current large project: A new Design - Magnolia!
Hello everyone! I am Lauren Harpster, the designer behind Lauren's Creations. I am a 28 year old wife, and a mother to three adorable little kids. I've been making French Beaded Flowers for about six years now, and publishing patterns and tutorials for three years.
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