Now that it is nearing January 1st in many parts of Europe, the new EU Value Added Tax goes into effect. While this seemingly annoying tax (what tax isn’t annoying?) is just something that is there, but it’s more than that! We are already seeing a direct impact on the RPG industry. Albeit small in scale and scope, but nonetheless it’s impact will have wide reaching implications.
To this point, today alone, two small publishers, Stormlord Publishing & Engine Publishing, have stated that they will no longer continue sales to the Euro-zone. Well, that is until the EU law is changed. I expect more and more small companies to limit or completely restrict sales to the EU.
While I do not fully understand all there is to know about this change in their laws, but I know it’s effects are akin to ordering from Barnes and Noble bookstores. They charge you sales tax for all web sales because they have a license to operate in all 50 states and therefore are required to charge state tax at the rate for the destination state. Engine Publishing link above has a very good summary of the law. Who will be the next to fall in line with these companies?
Personally, I think the new VAT law sucks the big one! It sucks for our European gaming friends who do buy, even digitally, from the US where most RPG companies reside. It will be a very crappy day if this new law affects bigger publishers and distributors such as DriveThruRPG or even Lulu.com. I suspect the dust is far from settled on this topic.