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#131373 - 06/23/03 03:13 AM EU First To Tax Internet
pauluk Offline
Member

Registered: 08/11/01
Posts: 7693
Loc: Norfolk, England
Why does this not surprise me?

 Quote:
In a unilateral move that reverses the prevailing philosophy of keeping the Internet tax-free, the European Union agreed this week to impose a value-added tax (VAT) on products downloaded from the Internet to private customers within the 15-nation bloc.

The new rules will go into effect in July of 2003 and require non-EU companies to register with the tax authorities in at least one of the EU member states.

Once registered, the non-EU company will be required to levy the appropriate national VAT rate (15-25%) an all personal Internet transactions. The collecting country will then redistribute the proceeds to other EU countries where the sales were actually made. Internal companies, however, who already collect a VAT within the EU, will be exempt from tax on services they provide to non-EU residents.


Link to full story .

So the Brussels bureaucrats now want American companies to act as unpaid tax-collectors for the EU. (Yes, and Canadian, Australian, & the rest of the world, but it will naturally have the greatest impact on the U.S.A.)

As for requiring "non-EU companies to register with the tax authorities in at least one of the EU member states," just what do they think gives them the right to tell the rest of the world that it must comply with their rules and regulations?



[This message has been edited by pauluk (edited 06-23-2003).]

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#131374 - 06/23/03 12:53 PM Re: EU First To Tax Internet
C-H Offline

Member

Registered: 09/17/02
Posts: 1508
Loc: Stockholm, Sweden
There was already a similar law inside Europe. It contains a minimum sales before the company has to bother with paying taxes. I assume this will too. Otherwise Bill would have to register in Europe if I order something from the ECN store.

Oh, and when did you ever get paid to pay taxes?

[This message has been edited by C-H (edited 06-23-2003).]

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#131375 - 06/23/03 02:39 PM Re: EU First To Tax Internet
Bill Addiss Offline
Member

Registered: 10/07/00
Posts: 4196
Loc: NY, USA
C-H,

Actually, we don't ship anything outside the US anyway, so it wouldn't affect us. But it could be very disturbing if the US got the same idea.

Bill

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#131376 - 06/23/03 04:03 PM Re: EU First To Tax Internet
pauluk Offline
Member

Registered: 08/11/01
Posts: 7693
Loc: Norfolk, England
Sure, we have a sales threshold in the U.K. before a company is required to register for VAT. I get the impression from the article that this is to apply only to services delivered by the Net, e.g. the purchase of audio recordings which are sent via the Net rather than as a tangible tape, record, or CD.

When goods are physically delivered from, say, the U.S. to Britain, they have to pass through British customs. The latter will decide if any duty is payable and will also add VAT if applicable and demand its payment before the goods are released (or for small packets, they will let the Post Office deliver them with the tax/duty to be paid C.O.D.). I don't know about other European countries, but I get small parcels from the States regularly, and customs don't bother with charging anything on items with a declared value of under $200 or so.

But something delivered over the Net is another matter. My point is that for any company in the U.S. to be "required" to register with a foreign tax authority is rather an imposition.

And surely for it to be enforced would necessitate the U.S. Federal Govt. (or individual State Govts.) passing appropriate laws?

 Quote:
Oh, and when did you ever get paid to pay taxes?
Never, I'm afraid , but the difference in this case is that within our own countries we at least have the right to vote on the taxes that are collected (OK, I admit it's a rather nominal right -- When all parties offer the same choice, there really is no choice.)

If this was somehow enforced, American companies would be acting as collectors for foreign taxes over which they would have no vote at all. And we all know what happened the last time that was tried in America!


[This message has been edited by pauluk (edited 06-23-2003).]

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#131377 - 06/23/03 05:02 PM Re: EU First To Tax Internet
Bill Addiss Offline
Member

Registered: 10/07/00
Posts: 4196
Loc: NY, USA
Teeeeeeee Paaaaaarrrrrty !!!!

Hey, you guys aren't still mad at us for that little thing, are you ?

Bill

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#131378 - 06/24/03 02:55 PM Re: EU First To Tax Internet
pauluk Offline
Member

Registered: 08/11/01
Posts: 7693
Loc: Norfolk, England
Well, I'm led to believe that the bill for that consignment which ended up in Boston Harbor was never paid...... Just think of of the compound interest!

I guess I'm just an American Patriot at heart, as I prefer to drink coffee anyway.

Seriously though, from all historical accounts that I've seen, I believe the colonists had a genuine complaint against the British Govt. and were right to revolt. Our miserable bunch in Westminster could do with shaking up again.....

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#131379 - 06/24/03 05:37 PM Re: EU First To Tax Internet
sparky Offline
Member

Registered: 10/18/00
Posts: 5545
The postal service here wanted to impose e-mail fees. I forget the lawyer, went before congress on this....

talk about taxation without representation..

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#131380 - 06/27/03 07:37 PM Re: EU First To Tax Internet
Trumpy Offline

Member

Registered: 07/05/02
Posts: 8540
Loc: SI,New Zealand
Paul,
This idea just goes to show one thing.
That there is always a bunch of bureaucrats, that are willing to ruin the party (so to speak).
It seems to be an international thing, we have just had a whole lot of things, over here, that are to be taxed!.
_________________________
Let's face it, these days if you're not young, you're old - Red Green grin

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#131381 - 06/28/03 03:07 AM Re: EU First To Tax Internet
pauluk Offline
Member

Registered: 08/11/01
Posts: 7693
Loc: Norfolk, England
Yeah, the bureaucrats answer to everything is "More regulations" and "Tax it!"

Even when faced with a project to reduce red-tape and expense, what's the first thing they do? Yep -- Set up a new department with a stuff of 5000 civil servants and a budget of £10m per year to "investigate the problem."

Did you ever get the British TV show Yes Minister down under? Excellent comedy, and probably closer to the truth than many would like to admit.

Haven't we all run into a bureaucrat who actually talks like this?
 Quote:

"The fact that the Prime Minister needed to know was not known at the time that the now known need to know was known, and therefore those of us who needed to advise and inform felt that the information that we needed as to whether or not to inform the highest authority of the known information was not yet known, and therefore there was no authority for the authority to be informed because the need to know was not yet known, or needed."





[This message has been edited by pauluk (edited 06-28-2003).]

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#131382 - 06/28/03 04:51 AM Re: EU First To Tax Internet
Trumpy Offline

Member

Registered: 07/05/02
Posts: 8540
Loc: SI,New Zealand
Paul,
While I am not willing to get into a political debate, here, I just love a good argument.
Yes, we did have Yes Minister, over here, while I never really found it funny, some of the concepts that the writers were thinking of at the time, were quite uncanny, even back in the 70's.
But the question, that I ask is, How on earth can you TAX all purchases on the Internet, what I mean here, is, do these people have NO morals at all?.
The Internet was originally set up for FREE communication between you and I,(dis-regarding ISP fees), sure shopping on the Net had to be a logical progression, but to cream the top off of everyone else's enjoyment of the damned thing, seems just a wee bit stupid, I hope that it comes back to bite them in the *****.
_________________________
Let's face it, these days if you're not young, you're old - Red Green grin

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