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Increase in occurrences of UK-based musicians closing BandCamp accounts?

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  • Increase in occurrences of UK-based musicians closing BandCamp accounts?

    Due to forthcoming changes in UK/EU Tax systems, it seems that some UK-based musicians are closing down (or considering closing down) Bandcamp accounts due to a clumsy piece of legislation requiring VAT to be paid at a rate consistent with that in operation in the country of purchase.

    More info here:-

    http://www.stevelawson.net/2014/11/s...-uk-read-this/

    and here:-

    http://basschat.co.uk/topic/250436-t...tc-etc-eu-vat/

    So depressing :frown:
    Whatsisname's Little Fluffy Clouds | Campsite | Hearthis | Orfium | SeismicTC | Twitter | Ello

  • #2
    So Bandcamp is exempt according to the article.
    https://soundcloud.com/ian-haygreen
    https://ianhaygreen.bandcamp.com/

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    • #3
      It's interesting how these changes will occur to UK indie labels.
      http://ovodmusic.com II https://www.facebook.com/ovodmusic

      Comment


      • #4
        I think it will, as was mention in there somewhere, be a case of it only hitting you if you're earning a certain amount per year. Seems hardly worth the time and paperwork involved to start collecting VAT on small sums..but, then again, times are tight for the Tax man and who knows what levels he'll stoop to in order to claw in what he thinks is his?

        Mind you, it does all seem a bit stupid to start going after the "little guys", when anyone honest if going to be paying taxes on any income earned. Guess they think this new setup gives them more power and control over everything..meaning nobody can "forget" they owe money to the state, as the state will already know exactly how much has changed hands throughout the year if they tie all the paperwork together.

        But, yeah, it could make it harder to sell your stuff online and..for those of us perhaps too old to be "hip" and attract a younger audience to gigs, the knock-on effect might be to push us old farts out of the game completely, as venues run to make a profit and it might be even more a major factor of who can fill a venue more. Sad as it may be, some of us..like it or not..will just have to get use to "depending on the kindness of others" via donations, rather than charging a set fee for our work..that is, if we are interested in making money from our art.

        I'm hoping it won't come to that and that folks will always appreciate / value the music we make for what it is and want to help support us artists, but I think if the past is any real indicator, then most say online they believe in supporting artists, but in reality most don't. Anyone on here with a Bandcamp page can testify to this..that the number of free downloads far outweigh the number of actual cash sales..and I don't feel that this new move is going to do anything to better that situation for anyone us it effects.

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        • #5
          It won't make life easy for the amateur/hobbyist musician. 4 VAT returns to perform per year, 2 independent sets of documentation to provide for each purchase, different tax rates across the EU, data protection laws to comply with. It's difficult enough to find time for music anyway, without these associated shenanigans. It appears that this may extend to physical releases in 2016.
          Whatsisname's Little Fluffy Clouds | Campsite | Hearthis | Orfium | SeismicTC | Twitter | Ello

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          • #6
            I can't help but wonder if "Big Business" has something to do with all of this..you know, major labels with financial clout lobbying politicians to do something to plug the whole the internet has made in their over-all earnings? It wouldn't surprise me if there was something to this, as some of the possible knock-on effects of this (..putting a serious dampener on unsigned artist earnings / sales and consequentially limiting the amount of alternative "choices" open to the buyers..) can only result in a kind of "stabilizing"..f not a direct increase..in their annual turnover.

            Sorry if I come across as being all doom and gloom here, but I seriously feel like this is going to be a real headache that we are going to find difficult to sidestep..IF..the small independent artist if going to be effected in the ways folks are already predicting.

            Comment


            • #7
              Bandcamp updated its Selling Basics page yesterday with information relating to the new EU VAT policy. For the first half of 2015, they will be able to add VAT (if applicable) to the purchase price. This money will then be transferred to the artist. A downloadable VAT report will be available. This report will contain the information required to submit a VAT return. In addition to this, the good news is that sometime in H1 2015, Bandcamp hopes to be able to provide a "one-stop" shop, such that Bandcamp will be able to handle digital VAT reporting and payment itself.

              This means that for 2 quarters, I might need to register for VAT, register for VAT MOSS payments, apply for Data Controller status so that the reports produced can legally be retained for the 10 year period required by the tax authorities, produce quarterly VAT reports. That sounds like a lot of work for people who might be generating total sales of £30 per year, with an EU tax liability of 1.5 Euros. On the other hand, you would be able to claim back some of the VAT paid on that hardware/software

              Or, I could disable downloads on Bandcamp for 6 months.
              Whatsisname's Little Fluffy Clouds | Campsite | Hearthis | Orfium | SeismicTC | Twitter | Ello

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              • #8
                I'm confused. According to the UK government you have to register VAT if you earn over £81,000 as a business but not under that amount. Since the EU doesn't collect tax but the member states do, I can't see how this will effect most people. Unless I'm missing something.
                https://soundcloud.com/ian-haygreen
                https://ianhaygreen.bandcamp.com/

                Comment


                • #9
                  You have to register if you earn over £81,000, but you may still do so if you earn less. If you are selling to the UK only, you don't have to pay VAT. If you sell to the EU, you are supposed to pay. To be honest, I can't see how this is do-able. Providing the dual proofs of where the purchases are made doesn't look possible, from my viewpoint. Obtaining Data Controller status appears to be quite convoluted and the cost of obtaining that status (£35) is not trivial, when weighed against my average annual sales. Conspiracy theories are welcome.
                  Whatsisname's Little Fluffy Clouds | Campsite | Hearthis | Orfium | SeismicTC | Twitter | Ello

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I don't know..the more I read about stuff like this..the more I'm inclined to move to a members base set up..as in lock all your stuff away and give access to only those willing to "donate" on an annual basis. I know there are pluses and minuses to suck an arrangement for artists like us, but tbh it's not like we all have hordes following us, waiting with bated breath for everything we release. At least that way it would be a private members only thing and you wouldn't technically be charging for your music..just access to the site.

                    Granted, such a setup might time to "earn", but the way I see it this is not a race and I seriously doubt I'll ever be "signed" in the major sense of the term, so such a setup might be the right fit for someone like me..not sure though..I think I need to give it a little more thought.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by seismic1 View Post
                      You have to register if you earn over £81,000, but you may still do so if you earn less. If you are selling to the UK only, you don't have to pay VAT. If you sell to the EU, you are supposed to pay. To be honest, I can't see how this is do-able. Providing the dual proofs of where the purchases are made doesn't look possible, from my viewpoint. Obtaining Data Controller status appears to be quite convoluted and the cost of obtaining that status (£35) is not trivial, when weighed against my average annual sales. Conspiracy theories are welcome.
                      I can't see how that will work either. At work we sell to plenty of countries in Europe, Asia and the Americas. We pay UK VAT but only because we earn more than the £81,000 p.a. Before we earned £81,000 (earlier this year - we only set the company up a year ago) we didn't pay VAT regardless of where the goods were bought from. Sounds like more bureaucratic bullshittery to me which they can shove. I have no idea where the small handful of people are who buy my stuff are.
                      https://soundcloud.com/ian-haygreen
                      https://ianhaygreen.bandcamp.com/

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        If you sell via Bandcamp, you can produce a csv file containing buyer details. I'm not sure how all of the information is derived. The EU requirement changes on Jan 1 2015. Prior to this, I think the tax was chargeable at the point o sale, now it is at the point of purchase. This hasn't been thought through properly. I've just noticed a thread at started earlier this year at KVR in the developer forum. It even mentions the Eco lightbulb fiasco (one of my pet gripes):-

                        http://www.kvraudio.com/forum/viewto...?f=33&t=407861
                        Whatsisname's Little Fluffy Clouds | Campsite | Hearthis | Orfium | SeismicTC | Twitter | Ello

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                        • #13
                          56 hours to go. I'm disabling Bandcamp downloads on Wednesday until either:-

                          a) Bandcamp implements a new tax-charging system.
                          b) UK/EU politicians see the error of their ways. This is very doubtful. Politicians are never wrong.:frown:

                          Please note that I am not apportioning any of the blame in this fiasco to Bandcamp. They have done nothing wrong. They are stuck in the same mess as the rest of us due to the dumb legislation passed by bureaucrats in an ivory tower.

                          Here is an article from the Daily Telegraph a couple of weeks ago

                          http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technolog...AT-reform.html
                          Whatsisname's Little Fluffy Clouds | Campsite | Hearthis | Orfium | SeismicTC | Twitter | Ello

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                          • #14
                            I just deleted my bandcamp account - i get so few sales or listens it really isn't worth even 10 minutes a year to do the paperwork - not worth 5 mins a year to have to think about it

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by woggle View Post
                              I just deleted my bandcamp account - i get so few sales or listens it really isn't worth even 10 minutes a year to do the paperwork - not worth 5 mins a year to have to think about it
                              But Greg - surely this doesn't really effect us in Australia? Or are you no longer in Australia?
                              Makrotulpa - SKON - Blog - Soundcloud

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