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Old 03-24-2014, 02:16 PM   #1
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Ebook prices look set to rise (UK)

Digital downloads could be hit by price hikes early next year as they become subject to UK tax rates.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-26716917
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Old 03-24-2014, 02:31 PM   #2
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This isn't something specific to the UK; it will affect all EU countries.
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Old 03-24-2014, 03:33 PM   #3
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There were discussions about also harmonising books and ebook VAT rates. I don't think that's going to happen in time for 1st January 2015 though, so yes, ebooks in the UK will go up by 16.5% (change of VAT rate from 3% to 20%) in 2015.
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Old 03-24-2014, 06:10 PM   #4
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From 3% to 20%?! That's obscene.

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Originally Posted by pdurrant View Post
There were discussions about also harmonising books and ebook VAT rates. I don't think that's going to happen in time for 1st January 2015 though, so yes, ebooks in the UK will go up by 16.5% (change of VAT rate from 3% to 20%) in 2015.
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Old 03-24-2014, 06:31 PM   #5
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The obscene bit is rather more that Amazon etc are using Luxembourg to "do all their business" and pay cheap tax rates as opposed to paying the tax rates of the countries where their business is actually done...
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Old 03-24-2014, 07:23 PM   #6
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This isn't something specific to the UK; it will affect all EU countries.
Why. I buy my Kindle books from amazon.com so how will this affect me?
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Old 03-24-2014, 07:24 PM   #7
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The obscene bit is rather more that Amazon etc are using Luxembourg to "do all their business" and pay cheap tax rates as opposed to paying the tax rates of the countries where their business is actually done...
I agree. And now smaller book sellers in the UK might be able to compete better.
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Old 03-24-2014, 07:29 PM   #8
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The obscene bit is rather more that Amazon etc are using Luxembourg to "do all their business" and pay cheap tax rates as opposed to paying the tax rates of the countries where their business is actually done...
Amazon passed on all the tax savings so will I be 'obscene' if I buy my books from Baen or Smashwords in 2015 ?
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Old 03-24-2014, 08:14 PM   #9
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They should be paying cheaper tax rates in those countries as well, as should every other business. Why is the solution always to raise taxes rather than lower them to have parity across the board?

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The obscene bit is rather more that Amazon etc are using Luxembourg to "do all their business" and pay cheap tax rates as opposed to paying the tax rates of the countries where their business is actually done...
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Old 03-24-2014, 08:20 PM   #10
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Quote:
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Amazon passed on all the tax savings so will I be 'obscene' if I buy my books from Baen or Smashwords in 2015 ?
That's your choice but I was simply using the word in response to Post #4 as a slightly sarcastic/ironic reaction to xg4bx's quote, "From 3% to 20%?! That's obscene."

Quote:
Originally Posted by pdurrant
There were discussions about also harmonising books and ebook VAT rates. I don't think that's going to happen in time for 1st January 2015 though, so yes, ebooks in the UK will go up by 16.5% (change of VAT rate from 3% to 20%) in 2015.
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Old 03-24-2014, 10:01 PM   #11
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I think a 20% VAT on most goods and services is a tad high. Of course if it is wisely spent by the government maybe not. I also don't think books/food or basic necessities should be taxed but that and $2.00 will still buy me a cup of coffee in a very few select establishments.

Helen
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Old 03-25-2014, 02:54 AM   #12
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Why. I buy my Kindle books from amazon.com so how will this affect me?
That's strange. When I buy things from amazon.com they charge me VAT.
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Old 03-25-2014, 04:04 AM   #13
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I'm pretty certain Amazon.com already charges me full VAT on (at least some) Kindle books - it's difficult to tell with trad-pubbed books sometimes, as the prices fluctuate so much, but when I look at a random self-published book (where the publisher hasn't set different prices for customers in different countries), it seems quite obvious.

For example where the author says they've set the price on Amazon.com at $2.99, and it's $2.99 for Americans, it'll be $5.99 for me - which comes down to $2.99 + $2 Amazon surcharge + 20% VAT on top of that (and $3.69 for my German and French friends with accounts still on Amazon.com; they don't have the $2 surcharge but that looks an awful lot like added VAT that is well above 3%).

I keep hearing about the Luxembourg and 3% VAT thing, but it's never been 3% on Amazon.com for me - it used to be 15% but it's been 20% for at least a year. (On the other hand, there are some books where there is zero tax and zero surcharge added, i.e. a $2.99 self-published book is $2.99 for both Americans and me. I haven't been able to work out the logic yet.)
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Old 03-25-2014, 04:57 AM   #14
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I keep hearing about the Luxembourg and 3% VAT thing, but it's never been 3% on Amazon.com for me - it used to be 15% but it's been 20% for at least a year.
No, it only applies where books are currently sold by Amazon's Luxumbourg business, which I think is only the national European Amazon sites: UK, FR, DE, etc.
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Old 03-25-2014, 08:43 AM   #15
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"Agency" priced books shouldn't change, since they were already priced to allow for the VAT.
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