In my last post, I mentioned the new EU VAT regulations that will take effect from 1st Jan 2015. I thought it would be possible to carry on as normal as I only sell through 3rd party market places. This was after assurances from HMRC (the UK tax office) that if you sell through such a website then it will be up to them to pay the VAT and not the individual seller. However, there is conflicting and confusing information about whether this is true or not. Etsy have stated on their blog that as individual sellers are paid directly by their customers then they ARE liable for the tax. They have not yet decided what they are going to do to help sellers comply and so until then, we cannot decide what we will do either. One possible solution is to send the PDF files manually via e-mail, as this means they will not be subject to the tax laws. My Folksy shop already operates this way and so is unaffected. I have reluctantly decided that until Etsy makes its position clearer and offers possible solutions that the best thing to do is close the shop for a short while and have a think.
I am very sorry for the really short notice but this has been really badly handled by the authorities and the vast majority of sole traders who will be affected did not find out until about 6 weeks ago. As I said, the implications of the legislation are still being debated, even by those who are enforcing it, so you can imagine how stressful this is for those of us who need to know what to do. As soon as I work something out, I will let you know here on my blog. You can follow me on Twitter and find me on Facebook to get in touch and keep updated.
Here's the good news. My Folksy shop is as yet unaffected as they have no instant download facility. Patterns are delivered manually via e-mail and so the tax laws do not apply. You an find my popular Lindisfarne Celtic Geometry and Art Nouveau Rose patterns there, as well as others. You don't need to register with Folksy to buy anything there, you can simply pay with a credit or debit card without logging in.
The legislation will eventually cover ALL goods, whether they are digital or not so I need to look for alternatives. I have already found some potential long-term homes for my patterns and my plans to release new designs next year are unchanged.
Of course, a lot of this stress and hassle would be avoided if the EU put a reasonable threshold in place to remove the burden for sole traders and small businesses. Let's hope that 2015 brings some wisdom and common sense to those in charge (!) and I wish you all a happy, prosperous and creative year.
To end with, here is a sampler I stitched a couple of years ago. I don't usually do pink so I'm not sure what came over me but I'm quite pleased with the results.