The Morning Coffee – 18 September 2013

tumblr_msg727YnVN1ryt5plo1_1280[1]Here are a few stories to read this morning.

  • Authors Guild: Wait for Congress to Sort Out Google Scanning (PW)
  • E-textbooks are the educational tool of the future, but preparation to implement them must start now (NY Daily News)
  • It's going to be harder to sell ebooks in Europe in 2015 (Luzme)
  • James Patterson To Give $1 Million To Indie Bookstores (GalleyCat)
  • Netflix Uses Pirate Sites to Determine What Shows to Buy (TorrentFreak)
  • OverDrive to offer e-books in China; Hires new executive for video growth (TeleRead)

About Nate Hoffelder (10611 Articles)
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader:"I've been into reading ebooks since forever, but I only got my first ereader in July 2007. Everything quickly spiraled out of control from there. Before I started this blog in January 2010 I covered ebooks, ebook readers, and digital publishing for about 2 years as a part of MobileRead Forums. It's a great community, and being a member is a joy. But I thought I could make something out of how I covered the news for MobileRead, so I started this blog."

3 Comments on The Morning Coffee – 18 September 2013

  1. The article about digital consumer VAT rules in Europe as of 2015 is intrigueing. I did some reading up on the matter and read the directives concerned. Whilst it is true that it will complicate matters for the merchants, it will simplify matters and actually be good for the consumers in Europe, at least theoretically.
    1. In theory (and no doubt this is why this is being changed) at present it is the consumer’s duty to pay local VAT in the country he resides on digital purchases at the rate set by his country of residence in the EU. If he purcheses a digitally delivered good from a vendor not in the same country with a different VAT rate in theory he would have to declare this to his local tax office and pay (or receive) the difference to the rate he has actually paid, pretty much the same rules as with any other goods concerning VAT. Of course, nobody does this, mainly because the amounts are too small… so the tax offices lose cummulatively out on a lot of VAT.
    Alternatively he could apply for a VAT number, purchase the electronically deliverable good WITHOUT VAT and then declare and pay the correct amount in full to the local tax office.
    2. The merchant, for whom VAT does not compute in his cost-revenue calculations (but does come into play on his selling-price point) suddenly will find himself on a level playing field with any other vendor anywhere in the world. At present you have those that can afford to incorporated in low VAT countries, or even off-shore not charging (and paying to the tax-office) VAT at all. With the new rules a vendor that wants to sell to a customer in a specific EU-country will no longer have to fight vendors that do not charge VAT (although they should) or at lower VAT-rates because they are incorporated in a different EU-country. With the new rules it will then be up to the vendor to adjust his selling-price point to remain competitive. This will level, to some extent, the playing field for vendors. Good for the consumers. Good for the tax-man, (more tax actually collected) bad for the vendors.
    Just my 2 cents!

    • So this wipes out Amazon’s VAT loophole (Luxembourg’s 2% VAT). I had missed that detail.

      Thank you for the explanation.

      • You are welcome.
        Just a little extra info.Unless I am mistaken Amazon does not specify the VAT amount charged on it’s invoices for digital purchases (although under EU-regulations they must do so) different to what they do with tangible goods. So even if a consumer wanted to, he could not declare the correct VAT amount at present as he does not know the rate or amount from his invoice.
        Which means that the EU-consumer can assume that the VAT amount he paid is actually at the rate of his country of residence and included in the price.
        I wonder if and when Brussels will hit Amazon with this and claim enourmous amount of VAT to be paid for digital purchases made over the last couple of years.

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