UK Closes Tax Loophole On Digital Downloads, Prices Could Soar 20 Percent
March 24, 2014 9:24 AM
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Apple, amazon, and other digital item retailers will have to charge 20% VAT starting in 2015
A long-standing tax loophole has been available in the UK that allowed buyers of digital download products to pay fewer taxes on their purchases of digital books, music, and apps.
That loophole has now been closed and it will mean that Apple and Google now have to charge the standard 20% VAT. This likely means an end to music being offered at 99p.
Apple and other digital good sellers were allowed to
funnel digital purchases though countries like Luxembourg
where the tax rate was as low as 3%.
20% VAT on digital downloads could add £300 million in tax revenue
The new law will go into effect on January 1 2015, so fans of digital products in the UK have a bit less than a year before rates go up significantly. The new taxes are expected to raise an additional £300 million in tax revenue.
Both Apple and
Google have come under fire in recent years
for their tax avoidance practices in the UK. Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt defended his company in April 2013, stating, “I think the most important thing to say about our taxes is that we fully comply with the law and we'll obviously, should the law change, we'll comply with that as well."
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Who really looses on this?
3/24/2014 12:17:59 PM
It's NOT the companies and its not the Tax revenuers.
It's the consumers who buy these products.
They will all have less money to spend, so they will buy less products over all or find alternative means. Why buy music when you can get it free over the radio each day or stream via the web or Apps.
I dumped cable over 3 years ago, because I can get free HDTV over the air and stream any other content I need from the web. I've saved over $2,600 at least, because of this choice and it's been a very easy transition. Nothing on Tv, then I just stream from HULU (free, no subscription),Netflix or get out of the house to experience the real world.
When more and more consumers realize there are other options/choices, thats when things will change and people can keep more of their money IMO.
~Best wishes keeping what you earned.
RE: Who really looses on this?
3/24/2014 2:43:56 PM
I don't know why people expect "corporations" to not be "greedy." Their job is to make a profit for their shareholders. If you want their product, buy it, otherwise don't.
Three years ago we dropped our regular telephone service ($80/mo) and set up Ooma VOIP ($10/mo). More recently we dropped Sprint ($180/mo) and picked up Ting ($100/mo). That's the beauty of competition inherent in capitalism.
RE: Who really looses on this?
3/25/2014 7:28:19 AM
Absolutely. The government there is looking at the sales today, and saying they'll make so much in taxes, based off those sales. When, what's more likely to happen, is that they'll gain some revenue, but not nearly what they expect.
Why? Because people now have 20% LESS to spend. Duh. But hey, the tax man will still be surprised, won't he?
I think the Beatles got it right, long ago.
"It's okay. The scenarios aren't that clear. But it's good looking. [Steve Jobs] does good design, and [the iPad] is absolutely a good example of that." -- Bill Gates on the Apple iPad
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