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Posts tagged Value added tax

Google uses transfer pricing to avoid paying European taxes
July 27, 2014 | 9:25 am

One of the most commonly-heard complaints about Amazon, at least in Europe, is that it sells e-books from a division based in Luxembourg so that it can charge a much lower VAT (Value-Added Tax, the European equivalent of sales tax) rate on its e-books than UK law allows. The unspoken implication is that everyone else must surely pay all the taxes they owe like good little corporate boys and girls. But Ars Technica reports that Google uses a practice called “transfer pricing” to assign most of its European revenues to an offshore subsidiary in Bermuda and avoid paying taxes...

Nando’s, Amazon, and tax: Who’s the real chicken?
July 11, 2014 | 11:25 am

In the wake of UK children's writer Allan Ahlberg's refusal of the Amazon-sponsored inaugural Booktrust Lifetime Achievement Award - over Amazon's tax avoidance policies and other issues including the Hachette standoff - The Guardian has been probing into similar tax efficiency schemes, highlighting, of all players, Nando's the Portuguese style chicken chain. According to The Guardian, Nando's not only uses a secretive Channel Islands trust to avoid heavy inheritance tax on the owners of the privately-held group, but also "uses a battery of offshore techniques, including companies in Malta, Guernsey and the Netherlands, to legally reduce its UK corporation tax...

UK budget means new ebook tax rates?
March 25, 2014 | 10:25 am

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="276"] He wants a cut of your ebooks.[/caption] For non-British readers, the ritual of UK budget day, when the Chancellor of the Exchequer holds up a red dispatch box with the country's financial future in it, may seem as quaint a part of national pageantry as beefeaters or the Changing of the Guard. But this year, budget day may have some more serious implications for ebook readers, and ebook publishers and distributors like Amazon, as Chancellor George Osborne brings in new tax regulations relating to digital services (which includes ebooks) in the UK. According to the government's budget materials,...

UK Booksellers Association CEO sends curious Xmas card
December 19, 2013 | 2:13 pm

As reported in The Bookseller, UK Booksellers Association CEO Tim Godfray has circulated a rather interesting Christmas message to members, highlighting some key priorities for the BA that appear, on reflection, a little odd - when set against those members' actual interests. Godfray sets out to stand up to European Commission pressure to increase VAT on books. "We have to ensure that nothing is done to change the current VAT arrangements for printed books in the UK and Ireland in 2014," The Bookseller quotes him as saying. But the EC seems more concerned with pushing countries like Luxembourg and France into...

European Council may bring changes in EU ebook VAT
October 22, 2013 | 6:40 pm

vatA meeting of the European Union's European Council scheduled to take place this week could bring about a retail mini-revolution for ebooks in Europe, at least if certain writeups in the media are to be believed. As reported in The Bookseller, the meeting may see the different rates of value added tax (VAT) on ebooks charged across the EU harmonized downwards, towards the same rate in each country that prevails for printed books. "Here's hoping that the European Council will come to the right decisions for us," wrote "Finnish author living and writing in London" Helena Halme in her blog, where...

Amazon’s UK Tax Debacle: Time for the scapegoat to butt back?
May 16, 2013 | 2:57 pm

AmazonUK press, politicians and public all seem heated up about Amazon’s tax bills in the UK—or lack thereof. Seems those deceitful corporations have been daring to incorporate and structure across jurisdictions, rather than standing meekly inside good honest British borders and reaching their hands into their pockets whenever that nice Mr. Osborne tells them to. Whisper it not, but rumor has it that some of them even have profit motives. Scandalous, I know. Politicians eager for scapegoats to fling before an electorate grumbling under the weight of misgovernment have seized on Amazon, Google, et al, as a Godsend. Watching them posture...

UK Publishers Association lobbies for e-book VAT reduction
April 26, 2012 | 11:18 pm

In December, I mentioned the UK Parliament considering and then declining to lower the UK’s 20% value-added tax (VAT) on e-books. Lowering the VAT is technically against EU law, though that hasn’t stopped countries such as France and Luxembourg from doing it. Publishing Perspectives reports that the UK’s Publishers Association hasn’t given up, and is lobbying the European Commission to change its VAT rules so that audiobooks and e-books can be assigned the same (0%) VAT as printed books. While [Publishers Association CEO Richard Mollet] says that “considering the explosion of e-books across the...

UK declines to lower VAT on e-books, gives Amazon big advantage in UK e-book sales
December 23, 2011 | 2:59 pm

After the matter came up in Parliament last week, the UK has once again declined to lower the value-added tax on e-books, which currently stands at 20%. The Bookseller reports David Gauke, the UK’s exchequer secretary, said the UK could not do this and remain in compliance with European Union law, which classes electronic media as services rather than goods and requires they be taxed at the higher rate. Other European countries, including France and Luxembourg, have reduced their own VATs on e-books significantly. France has told its publishers it will pay any fines the EU imposes on them for flouting...

Parliament looks into UK’s 20% VAT rate on e-books
December 16, 2011 | 5:15 pm

FutureBook’s Philip Jones has a piece looking at the problems of value-added tax (VAT) on e-books in Europe. The fundamental problem is that, in the UK, e-books are charged the highest possible VAT rate, 20%, while print books have been exempt from VAT for decades. Other parts of Europe are in similar situations. This has the effect of inflating the price of e-books and slowing down their adoption compared to paper. When Parliament member Tom Blenkinsop asked the UK Chancellor of the Exchequer about reducing or eliminating VAT for e-books, the Chancellor said, essentially, that under EU agreements...

French ebooks: what should the VAT rate be?
June 17, 2010 | 7:15 am

images.jpegPublishing Perspectives notes this question being discussed in the latest issue of ESPRIT magazine by Pascale Fouche - bibliographer and editor of the Dictionnaire encyclopedique du livre. Fouche does not want a lower rate of VAT extended to ebooks: “A book is an item, printed on paper, which serves the dissemination of ideas,” he writes, “This fiscal definition was used to establish a reduced V.A.T. rate on books. This is why an advertising brochure with less than 48 pages is not a book –- and so on. But according to this definition, the printing process is constitutive to the book....