At the end of this year I will be shutting down the PDF patterns website - why????
Life is sometimes what happens outside the cosy, happy confines of our craft work room/area/mess. You may or may not have heard about the dogs dinner that is 'Vatmoss'. Vatmoss affects all retailers (worldwide) of electronic downloads and all EU member based consumers of download products.
Without elaborating too much (but you can read about it here - good luck, it's not terribly clear or cheerful reading) it is a EU ruling which requires ALL retailers of electronic download goods (be that someone selling a few sewing patterns to the likes of Netflix) to pay VAT on each sale - based on the purchaser's EU country. Yes, my head is also hurting.... Soooo under the new ruling, lets say someone in Germany buys one of my PDF sewing patterns, I would then have to pay the German rate of VAT to the German tax office. I would have to do this for each and every EU based pattern sale. Which (I don't know about you) sounds about as appealing as: falling down the stairs with a big bag of forks.
Retailers will be faced with a horrific amount of paperwork (just for starters: we would be expected to record all EU sales (and personal from that sale) and retain that data for 10 years, and be aware of the different VAT rates for EU countries, and submit a quarterly return), and anyway how on earth do I find out where the purchaser is based?? They say that registiering for VATMOSS will simplify the process, yeah right...I'm not even going there... An option would be to block all EU based sales, but even if I had the facility to do that, it is not in the spirit of how I operate. I've always tried to be inclusive in what I do, I certainly don't want to start telling folks 'you can't buy my patterns because you live in the wrong country'.
It is very sad and inappropriate that for this ruling micro/small business have been lumped in with corporations. It doesn't take a genius to see that this will lead to the death of 100s of thousands of small businesses and kill off scores of potential start ups. This is tragic. For many, selling downloads provides a modest source of income for: mums, those who are housebound, or as supplement to a low wage, or just a little bit of money to help the household! I accept that those who earn, have taxes to pay - and I do! But it has always been within the confines of a means tested system. This new ruling is not means tested - it's gobbledygook!
So it is with heavy heart (and death-ray beams fixed upon those who dreamt up this nonsense) that I have decided that on 31st Dec I will shut down the patterns website - for good - or until they see sense, do an about turn, and enforcing the ruling fairly by applying it only to the big players: Amazon and Netflix et al.