HMRC has its own VAT Charities manual, which deals with most of the common VAT dilemmas facing charities. Very helpfully, the VCHAR3400 section is titled: When is a donation not a donation?
To directly quote the first two sentences of the section:
“If there is a direct link between the payment and a benefit received by the giver the monies cannot be treated as a donation. As long as it is clear that a person is under no obligation to make a payment in order to receive certain benefits then the payment is usually a donation.”
Meaning of guidance
If the donor paid £100 and the charity planted ten trees in his back garden, this is clearly “a benefit received by the giver”. But in the example of the Better Soil charity, the donor has no idea whether his donation will fund trees planted in Edinburgh, Glasgow or Perth (that’s Perth in Scotland and not Australia) – or even no trees at all. The charity is dictating the course of events. So there is no way that the donor has received any benefit from his gift.
Check out this article: https://quaderno.medium.com/canadas-gst-on-digital-products-a34a7e5d3c82
It says there are no federal CDN sales tax on digital goods sold from the US, and provincially there are just two (Quebec and Saskatchewan) that have their own rules, but you could exclude those provinces instead of all of Canada.
I could look for more documentation if that would help the cause. There's a bunch of stuff I would like to buy!
paul wheaton wrote:
Maybe an upgrade to the current wording would be sufficient. Currently it says something like "Are you a US citizen or currently in the US?" If you say "yes" then you can buy. And if you say "no" then you cannot.
paul wheaton wrote:
Maybe the message needs to be something like "Proceed only if your county or region would NOT require permies.com to pay VAT/GST." And then the two buttons offered could be "proceed" and "go back".
R Scott wrote:
I think you would have to go one further and restrict based on IP address, and put some hint about using a VPN...
"would your purchase require permies.com to pay VAT/GST?"
And there are three buttons:
"yes (go back)"
"I don't know (go back)"
paul wheaton wrote:If you live outside the US and buy a physical thing, we just charge the insane shipping costs. And then any VAT stuff that comes after is apparently dealt with by the buyer when the package arrives.
For digital stuff ... we used to use the scubbly service. And then one day the VAT police showed up and took two months of my income and said there was nothing I could do about it. And all of scubbly closed.
Apparently, most countries in the world do this VAT thing. And it is something like 20% to 25%. And it sounds like you have to fill out a fuck ton of paperwork for every fucking country. So for a $10 item I would need to add on $2.50 for the tax plus $40 for having to fuck with the tax. Making the item priced so high that nobody would want it anyway - so it is just easier to not sell digital goods outside of the US.
If you are angry about this, I suggest that you kick a politician.
Here in Montana, USA, we have no sales tax. (nor VAT). Tax crap is processed once a year with income tax stuff (which, I'm pretty sure, all states also do).
paul wheaton wrote:What do you have in mind?