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Old 09-05-2007, 04:40 PM   #1
Blue
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VAT

Hey,

I noticed that when I want to buy an ebook from mobipocket, it charges a 19% tax rate if you live in the EU. Now when I change my country in my mobipocket account to lets say afghanistan, they don't charge me the VAT. What could be the consequences if I would cheat and buy an ebook with VISA but without VAT? Someone with experiences?
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Old 09-06-2007, 03:50 AM   #2
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If you live anywhere in the EU, the company has to charge you VAT. If you try to cheat the system, firstly you are attempting to commit fraud, which is a criminal offence, and secondly you're just messing MobiPocket around, and the odds are that your order will simply be cancelled.

"Don't do it" would be my advice.

You could perhaps look at buying from, say, Fictionwise who are outside the EU and hence won't charge you VAT.
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Old 09-06-2007, 01:44 PM   #3
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That's the reply I was looking for. Thx Harry T. I'm a belgian, so I was born to fraud the system
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Old 09-10-2007, 06:03 PM   #4
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Paperbackdigital has lower prices on MobiPocket books then Fictionwise.
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Old 09-10-2007, 06:31 PM   #5
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Paperbackdigital has lower prices on MobiPocket books then Fictionwise.
And they don't charge VAT too
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Old 04-18-2008, 07:17 PM   #6
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Well, I would just try it. If they catch you play clueless (clicked wrong country or something). You pay too much taxes anyway.
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Old 04-19-2008, 02:26 AM   #7
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If they catch you play clueless
the romans had already a saying for this:

Ignorantia juris non excusat

Last edited by axel77; 04-19-2008 at 02:29 AM.
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Old 05-09-2008, 06:25 AM   #8
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You may also find that Fictionwise will have a different range of titles from Mobipocket's EU store, at least in English Language works. This is because the right to publish books in the English language is traditionally sold in two territorially defined tranches: North American rights and UK and rest-of-world rights. This made sense back in the age of sail -- when nobody wanted to ship pallets of books across the Atlantic -- and it's still written into most publishing contracts. As ebook rights are subsidiary rights (the publisher buys the right to publish in a given territory; this right includes a bunch of subsidiary rights such as "record audiobooks, publish in hardback or paperback, publish electronically ...") you therefore find different ebook editions from different publishers in different territories.

I should like to note also that Mobipocket might be breaking the law by charging VAT at 19% on ebooks sold to UK residents, as the VAT on books in the UK is rated at zero percent; although it's possible HMRC have imposed VAT on ebooks at a different rate. (If so, it wouldn't be the first time they've done something that dumb.)
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Old 05-09-2008, 06:51 AM   #9
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I should like to note also that Mobipocket might be breaking the law by charging VAT at 19% on ebooks sold to UK residents, as the VAT on books in the UK is rated at zero percent; although it's possible HMRC have imposed VAT on ebooks at a different rate. (If so, it wouldn't be the first time they've done something that dumb.)
No. Unless you're a very large company (like Amazon), when you sell something to a customer in a different EU country, you charge them YOUR rate of VAT, not the customer's rate. Doesn't matter what the VAT rate on books is in the UK - you're buying from France, so it's the French rate that gets charged.

Apparently if you do more than a certain amount of business with an EU country, you then have to register for VAT in that country, after which you charge the local rate, but that doesn't apply to small companies like Mobi or Bookeen.

I'm also not at all sure that eBooks are zero-rated, as paper books are. They might be regarded as "computer software" rather than books.
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Old 05-09-2008, 07:23 AM   #10
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No. Unless you're a very large company (like Amazon), when you sell something to a customer in a different EU country, you charge them YOUR rate of VAT, not the customer's rate. Doesn't matter what the VAT rate on books is in the UK - you're buying from France, so it's the French rate that gets charged.

Apparently if you do more than a certain amount of business with an EU country, you then have to register for VAT in that country, after which you charge the local rate, but that doesn't apply to small companies like Mobi or Bookeen.

I'm also not at all sure that eBooks are zero-rated, as paper books are. They might be regarded as "computer software" rather than books.
Afaik as I remember my accounting classes, its not directly "company size" that matters but the border is 100.000€ export per year per country. If you export more into that country you need to get a VAT there, and charge them their VAT, if you are below you charge them yours.
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Old 05-10-2008, 03:26 AM   #11
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Paperbackdigital.com came up as closed. Did it go out of business?

It´s the first time I have seen a website been "closed down" versus just not existing any more.
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Old 05-10-2008, 03:29 AM   #12
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Paperbackdigital.com came up as closed. Did it go out of business?

It´s the first time I have seen a website been "closed down" versus just not existing any more.
They went out of business about 6 months ago or so.
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Old 05-10-2008, 09:31 AM   #13
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They went out of business about 6 months ago or so.
hehe, and here I thought that when that happened, the website just disappeared with a mighty 404 - Not found message.
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Old 05-10-2008, 09:33 AM   #14
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Depends how long they pay the bill with their web-hosters for.
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Old 07-10-2008, 08:55 PM   #15
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the romans had already a saying for this:

Ignorantia juris non excusat
Yeah yeah .. I know. But it could be also a problem of the online shop. You pressed the right options but they made an error.

They won´t lock you up for 1,20 Euro missing taxes
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