Solaris

Rebellion Publishing backs the EU VATMOSS Campaign

4 years ago

Are you a freelance creative type? Self publishing author? Small business looking to sell digital products? We know there are a lot of you out there, and this is important.

EU Legislation might not be exciting, but it can fundamentally affect your ability to sell your creative endeavours. In January 2015, the new EU Digital VAT laws came into effect. What does this mean? And why should you care?

Well, in a nutshell, any business selling digital products online must now charge VAT based on where the customer is located, as opposed to where the business lives. Now, this might be OK for huge multinational corporations – which, incidentally, the laws were designed for.

But for smaller businesses – including all the independent games developers, comic book creators, small presses, independent musicians, artists and innovators that you love – this is kind of a big deal.

It means they have to collect a vast amount of data from customers all across Europe, as well as VAT information from all member nations, and keep that data secure (in a location that isn’t, say, on a laptop). Tricky, right?

The upshot of all this is that thousands of folks running small businesses have had to close up shop because they can’t comply with the new rules. People trying to build something from the ground up are being penalised, and it is depriving us of myriad interesting, innovative small businesses.

Here at Rebellion, we understand the value of making it easy for small enterprises to stay in business. After all, we’re an independent-minded company ourselves, and certainly no multinational (although, of course, we do sell our games, comics and books all over the world).

We implicitly understand the value of all those small studios and individuals, pouring their heart and soul into new creative endeavours and seeking out audiences across the Europe to engage with and inspire. It keeps the creative industries fresh and exciting, and it makes us proud to be a part of those industries. However, under these new rules, it's becoming increasingly hard for small-scale businesses to survive, never mind thrive.

This is where the EU VAT Action Campaign steps in. Led by a team of volunteers that include fantasy author – and someone whose work we have been very proud to publish – Juliet McKenna, the Campaign has been working towards establishing a threshold within the legislation to make it fair and workable for small businesses.

In order to keep this vitally important campaign going, the Action Campaign team need to go to Dublin, to convince all 28 EU Finance Ministries to amend the Digital VAT legislation. The Campaign set up a Just Giving page, and Rebellion has been very happy to contribute and help the Campaign carry on with its valuable work.

You can contribute via the Campaign Team’s Just Giving page, and we urge you to follow the campaign and support the team as they work towards a solution that will be to the benefit of us all.