Amazon Has Made A Pig’s Ear Of VAT
I had a bit of a shock today when I noticed what a pig’s ear Amazon has made of VAT in Europe. You see, I sold a copy of ‘Dead Centre 2’ in the UK and seconds later another in the US. It was only because it happened so fast that I noticed that I was receiving 20% less for the UK sale. It’s the VAT…
Amazon has been making me pay my customers’ sales taxes for them!
I can’t believe that!
Why are they too stupid to do what every other company that sells in Europe does?
That is, read the location of the credit card or ‘send-to address’ and calculate the tax accordingly. No, they have to make every single one of their suppliers calculate the VAT manually for each of the six individual countries with their own Amazon franchise.
They have made such a pig’s ear of what Apple, Kobo, PayPal and everyone else took in their stride.
They clearly ask at pricing whether you want them to use the US dollar figure as a GUIDELINE for creating the other prices – not as gospel. I thought they would have simply added VAT to that.
Too simple, I suppose… the executives at Amazon, I mean not the solution.
They made me really angry today that a) I have lost 20% on most of my sales for ten weeks and b) that I had to spend four hours doing by hand what computers are fantastic at doing on the fly.
Come on Amazon, you’ve made a complete laughing stock of yourselves.
I only hope they don’t compound the blunder now with price matching. My European Amazon prices now include tax, but those on Kobo do not, will they be clever enough to realise this?
I wouldn’t bet on it.
In fact, I did write to them about VAT last year and a supervisor wrote back admitting that no-one there fully understood it.
Nothing has changed there then.
PayPal has it right, you only pay tax on purchases in your own country. A Thai, for example, buying a book from Amazon UK should not pay tax, but under Amazon’s silly system they do because it is built-in, not added on.
The ice has thawed at home, I am pleased to report and I am back in the fold. None too soon either, because we have to go to pick up my visa tomorrow from the beautiful mountain province of Naan, which had it’s own king until 1909. It must have joined Thailand not long after that. I have been in his house, it is now a museum. It is more of a mansion than a palace, but the city and the countryside are picturesque. The king just lived in the city, no big walls or high iron railings, though he must have had a few guards, I suppose.
It’s about a four-hour drive from here.
All the best,
PS: this is the selection of books I’m talking about: