Thursday, 11 December 2014

How the EU VAT changes will affect me

 Along with the UK's many other micro businesses I have spent the last few weeks quietly contemplating the potential impact of the proposed changes to EU tax law on my own business.

I'm not going to rehash what has been excellently written about elsewhere. For great background pieces on this please see:

What is immediately obvious from the whole sorry saga is that changes for very small creative businesses are essential in order to be compliant by the 1st January 2015 deadline.

As a small and newly created business I am fortunate that the bulk of my current sales are via the wonders of Ravelry. Those same wonders have partnered up with the UK company Love Knitting and come up with a workable solution for UK based sellers of digital patterns. It is still a work in progress but it represents a very welcome and emminently practical solution.

I also sell a smaller number of patterns through Patternfish and thankfully, their proactive and helpful approach means that I am able to continue with this.

Craftsy is the third platform on which I sell patterns and at the time of writing, they have sadly been unable to address the concerns of UK vendors regarding this issue. It is therefore, with regret, that I will be closing my designer account with Craftsy with immediate effect.

There will inevitably be an increase in transaction fees associated with the new system of pattern sales and it is regrettable that this will make UK pattern designers less competitive than those in other countries. The majority of my sock patterns sell at £3 (equivalent to 4.70$ or 3.8 euro). To raise the price much further risks losing sales to other non UK designers and as a newish designer trying to raise my online presence I feel that this is a risk I cannot take at present.
I will therefore be holding my pattern prices at their current level for now and will be reviewing the issue after the first quarter of 2015.

That takes care of existing pattern sales. My plan moving forward into next year was to extend my pattern sales further - offering them for sale on my own website and possibly also through other third-party sites such as Shopify for Facebook. This aspect of my business plan will now be on hold for the next 3-4 months whilst I take time to assess the impact of the new changes and also wait to see whether common sense prevails and the HMRC finds a workable solution - I won't be holding my breath on this one. Maybe I'm an optimist but I remain hopeful that through the power of social media the many and varied voices within the UK's creative industries can bring pressure to bear on the decision makers involved.