How I’m VATMOSS – proofing my products

screaming-146426_640This week I shall mostly be moving my Online Business Club to a platform that complies with the new EU VAT rules from January.

In the long run I don’t think this will be a bad thing for me personally because…

a) The Online Business Club is a low-cost membership which means I get lots of little payments hitting my Paypal account each month. With Clickbank I’ll get a single payment every two weeks, which cuts down my bookkeeping and frees up time (or budget, if I pay for bookkeeping) to spend on marketing. I don’t have to worry about chasing failed payments, either.

b) Clickbank’s fees aren’t much higher than what I currently pay to Paypal and I’ll happily pay them to avoid the logistical nightmare of dealing with the new EU VAT situation.

c) I hadn’t originally planned on recruiting affiliates for the Online Business Club but as the huge team of affiliates are a feature of Clickbank then that’s an added bonus.

d) I’ve already got a product for sale using Clickbank,  so I’m familiar with how it all works.

I’m not saying all is fine in the EU VAT world because I know some micro businesses are facing some very real problems. But thankfully I seem to be finding my way through it.

After the initial fears that I might have to close down my business completely had passed, that is. That wasn’t much fun, I can tell you.

One slightly annoying thing is that I’ve released this month’s training into the Online Business Club but I’ve effectively had to close it to new members until I’ve made the switch to Clickbank. I don’t want to risk getting any non-UK Europeans in the door until everything is in place VAT-wise for January.

Ideally I would have made the move to Clickbank a couple of weeks ago but I wanted to be as sure as I possibly could that this platform would allow me to avoid the whole EU VAT mess first.

Don’t you just love red tape? 🙁

As for my other products, I’m temporarily taking them down from sale because they are sold from my site rather than a 3rd party site. The EU VAT changes have made me review the products I’ve got and how they fit together, because my strategy will have to change. I may make them available through a 3rd party platform in future or I might update them or even retire them. I haven’t had time to work through all the options just yet and I don’t want to rush it.

How are you preparing for #VATMOSS?

Update, March 2018 : My Onlne Business Club is now closed.

Please share!

6 thoughts on “How I’m VATMOSS – proofing my products”

  1. Hi Helen,

    Thanks for this – it is an interesting alternative approach. As we are already a VAT-registered entity, it is perhaps a bit different for us.

    What I have found, but have yet to check out is PayPal’s option to charge individualised taxes based on geographical location. As we have also moved to the Xero (accounting) system, and there is the ability to import Paypal transactions, I’m keeping my fingers crossed that that will be the most straightforward way for us to account for EU VAT.

    • I agree, it’s a different situation if you’re already VAT registered. As far as I’m aware Paypal are working on this, but there’s such a lot of info flying about on the EU VAT situation it’s hard to keep up!

  2. Hi Helen, like you I’m now having to move all of what I do to new platforms. It’s incredibly frustrating as I now no longer have independence I have to rely on a site such as Clickbank. 2014 was the year when I decided to do some small priced coaching as well as my premium coaching packages. They did better than I expected. With the EU Vat situation, I’m having to take them down. Why? Because even if you’re VAT registered you’re still liable for a mistake in VAT in another country, possibly where I don’t speak the language, where I could be extradited for an accounting error. It’s just not how we do business here.

    • Hi Sarah, yes the main reason why I’ve avoid marketplaces up until now is that I don’t want my eggs in someone else’s basket, so to speak. I want to build my own products on my own platform because then I’m in control. But that’s now something that will have to wait until I can justify the hassle of handling the VAT myself. I’m reducing some of the risk by having backups and making sure I’m always building my own customer list, so hopefully I should be able to move to another platform if it’s no longer possible to use the one I’m with.

      What you’ve said about your small priced coaching packages is worrying, I thought coaching wasn’t an issue for VATMOSS because it’s not a ‘hands-off’digital service? Or is yours one that could be considered borderline because the rules are still quite vague in some places?

  3. Hi

    Good post… I’m looking at this too… Im based in Ireland and was also wondering about this issue. I just watched a webinar and they said you had to register for VAT in your country of choice, so Ireland or the UK and register for VATMOSS… so I saw a resource what can integrate your WP subscription with ClickBank… but are you sure that ClickBank will be fully VATMOSS Compliant?

    George

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