Never is the wrong word. I really mean you probably won’t be able to buy it here anymore.
Starting January 1st, the odds are you will have to buy my ebooks from Amazon or Apple because EU VAT laws are insane and I am sorry.
The tl;dr is that if you sell any digital goods to anyone in the EU, you need a VAT and to pay taxes. Yaaay. You will have to register VAT in every country you sell to, since there’s no minimum threshold of sales, which is untenable and unsustainable. Oh did I mention you have to file things differently too and keep a copy of sales for 10 years on an EU server? Yeah, not happening. If I make $30 a month from the EU, it’s an impressive month right now.
Step back. I’m American (or close enough). Since my ‘company’ is physically based in the US and I have no physical presence in the EU (the Cloud doesn’t count), you’d think I’m not affected by this except … I am and I’m not. According to the EU, I’d break the trade agreement. It’s really screwed up and I’ve been getting conflicting reports on all this. I even wrote a plugin to detect a user’s IP, pull the country based on that, and if they’re in the EU, sing “Sucks to be EU!” Because the simplest option is to just stop selling in the EU if you can’t afford the VAT stuff. The real kicker is there’s even a possibility that choosing not to sell to the EU is discriminatory.
If you want to read a pretty nice complication of what people are doing about all this, Rachel Andrew’s EU-VAT site has a lot of links to the pertinent information. From a code perspective, keep an eye on http://www.gotvat.com/ for more info. It’s geared towards EDD, whom I use for the store.
But here I am in the US. Why can’t I just ignore this? It’s not like King Europe is going to come down and sue me. There are two things to concern yourself with. First of all, I’m breaking European Law. While I’m not beholden to it (not being in an EU nation), the trade agreements between the US and EU suggest I’ve been agreed to comply. Secondly, I’d be making Europeans break their own laws.
At the worst, I would be fined and my online payment systems would be blocked from any and all European transactions. Dollars to donuts, that would mean my Stripe and Paypal accounts would be shut down, stranding any legit US money I had in there. Amazon’s handling this for you in their KDP. Is this because they have a physical location in the EU, even though they’re clearly a US based company? Or is this because they’re selling to the EU, period?
I’d like to say that the various nations are going to call shenanigans here, because this is really hard to enforce (if it’s possible at all) and it’s putting a burden on start-ups that would kill a lot of them.
If you’re in the EU, I’d buy all ebooks (including mine) now. It’s probably cheaper for you that way and it may be the last time you’ll be able to buy them from my site directly. And I’m sorry your guys are as dense about my guys with computers. This tops your crummy cookie law.