brian on 2003.06.14
at 01:50 am
The European Union is looking to assess its heavy sales taxes (VAT: 15%-25%) upon e-commerce sales. While that may not be surprising unto itself (unless you never realized how heavy European sales taxes are!), what may surprise you is the collection scheme. They expect companies on the net, who don't reside in European countries, to collect the taxes for them anyhow, on purchases shipped to Europe. And they're serious.
What's worse is that it seems to be have a good deal of momentum. AOL has already started to arrange for more staff in its Luxembourg office for this purpose. If you have an office in Europe, you only need to assess that country's tax (Lux has the lowest, at 15%). Otherwise, you need to collect in varying degrees based upon the shipping destination, for each country you ship to.
US businesses have already moved to push the Bush Administration to issue a grievance at a World Trade meeting. That might be the first intelligent thing this administration will do. And I'll be the first to say it, too.
Posted in: Politics · Technology · Web
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