Online Sales Tax


Gamka

Link Posted 14/03/2014 - 12:19
We saw the demise of Jessops, now Calumet (US), bookshops are disappearing and there are many more either gone or going.

People are now using online shops to purchase goods - Amazon as a "retailer", ebay are a big catalogue &c. In common with high street retailers, online retailer have a warehouse and staff to pick the goods however there is no High Street shop front which save them a fortune. Close to here a small shop off the main high street - single frontage of 6 metres, maybe 15 metres feet deep including stock rooms will have an annual rental of around 25-30k (and sometimes more) with Business rates of 25k.

People will go to shops and then buy online - the shop loses out. That will result in more closing and business rates increasing to ensure the same overall revenue.

When there is a problem - you go back to the retailer and if that is not solved you go to Trading Standards. Now, who pays the costs for the Trading Standards operation? The High Street retailers - not the online retailers, so they are hit again. That is just one example.

So, should there be an "Online Purchase Tax" to cover various costs of enforcement, trading standards and other operations?

dougf8

Link Posted 14/03/2014 - 12:35
I think VAT should be levied and payable to the state where the delivered item ends up.

None of this "fulfilment" BS. So Starbucks and Amazon et al should pay full UK VAT.
Lurking is shirking.!

CMW

Link Posted 14/03/2014 - 14:34
dougf8 wrote:
I think VAT should be levied and payable to the state where the delivered item ends up.

None of this "fulfilment" BS. So Starbucks and Amazon et al should pay full UK VAT.

The issue is important and complex, so it's not surprising it generates so many misapprehensions. Eg Starbucks does pay VAT, no VAT is payable by Amazon (or anyone else) on books in the UK. These companies do, however, tell different stories about the profitability of their trading in the UK, depending on whether they are talking to investors (when the picture is rosy) or HMRC, when the emphasis is on limiting liability to Corporation Tax. They do nothing illegal, and they do employ (and pay NI for) thousands of employees.

But it is not a level playing field and what they do may not be illegal, but that does not make it 'right', either. It is up to politicians to change the rules, and that requires international as well as national agreement. It won't happen swiftly.

With cameras, as any contributor to this forum knows, Amazon are not always cheapest. A small shop in Watford will always get my custom ahead of a small office in Luxembourg.
Regards, Christopher

ChristopherWheelerPhotography

steven9761

Link Posted 14/03/2014 - 14:42
The main "killer" is the ever-expanding EU, where there is no such thing as "harmonisation"! Today, I took receipt of a WD Passport external hard-drive that was shipped from a warehouse in Hungary. Since WD are an American company, I'd imagine that they researched where to base their European operations at the cheapest cost, and Hungary was the answer. I'm not sure of the VAT levels in Hungary, but you can safely bet your mortgage that it's a damned-sight less than UK! Due to the "free circulation" issues, this means that the Hungarian government gains (for example) 14-15% VAT, and upon delivery to the UK, the Chancellor gets ZILCH! As for Online Purchase Tax - we have it (of sorts), but it is more commonly known as Import Duty (when the goods enter a Member State from outside the EU), but none of this money is filtered down to pay towards what Gamka's suggesting. Our Politico's are too busy burying their collective noses in the trough to be bothered with the people that actually make this country what it is - the working man (and woman)!!

cabstar

Link Posted 14/03/2014 - 15:21
The reason WD built a factory in Hungary was to get around the EUs heavy protection methods particularly on foreign imports. As a member of the single European market we all gain advantages that foreign direct investment brings in to the EU. Do you think your hard drive would have been cheaper if it was imported from outside the EU?

Blaming online stores for the demise of bricks and mortar stores is another red herring, online sales have only increased by 20% not enough to put bricks and mortar out of business. The main reason is the narrowing of the gap between income and domestic bills creating a shortage of available cash to spend on luxuries like cameras etc...
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Currently on a Pentax hiatus until an FF Pentax is released

Algernon

Link Posted 14/03/2014 - 15:24
Overseas companies such as Amazon can (and do) elect to pay and collect
UK VAT on UK Sales at 20% through the UK Tax system..... Otherwise they
would have to collect VAT at the rate their own country charges which could
be 21/22%.

The UK VAT is accounted for with the UK Customs and Circumcise.

--
Half Man... Half Pentax ... Half Cucumber

Pentax K-1 + K-5 and some other stuff

Algi
Last Edited by Algernon on 14/03/2014 - 15:26

steven9761

Link Posted 14/03/2014 - 16:00
Quote:
Do you think your hard drive would have been cheaper if it was imported from outside the EU?

If the base cost of the drive was cheaper to import to UK instead of Hungary (assuming parity on import duty) then of course the drive would be, but my guess is that these drives are leaving an assembly plant (likely to be in the Far East) via one of the large integrators, such as DHL, UPS, TNT, etc. As regular clients of these courier companies, they would have negotiated a very good discount for their traffic. Given also that these 3 carriers all have their European Hubs based in Europe (TNT is Liege, DHL, Liege and (I believe) Dusseldorf) it is cheaper to linehaul by truck to Hungary than it would be to pay the more expensive airport landing fees that the UK applies. Even if these carriers moved their freight to the UK via the ferry ports, they have the ferry operators' costs to factor in as well.

johnriley

Link Posted 14/03/2014 - 16:19
It constantly amazes me that as a society we ask governments to tax us, usually to stop other people doing things we don't approve of.

In the end, we pay. Amazon and others offer us a very good deal, do we really want those prices to go up?
Best regards, John

RalphHardwick

Link Posted 14/03/2014 - 16:21
Remember this; "a small shop in Watford" also sells a big chunk of its stock online. As does Wex, Park Cameras, etc. etc.
The 'High Street Shops' that have adapted to the new ways of selling have survived and, in some cases, thrived.
Online sales may well have kept them afloat and 'saved' their businesses rather than ended them.

I'm lucky that I live 25 miles away from on of these outlets and can go and 'handle' the goods.
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johnriley

Link Posted 14/03/2014 - 16:36
There was a time when the "small shop in Watford" was the new kid on the block, and heavily resented by some long established suppliers for having the temerity to offer discounts.

That was when it was quite beneath the dignity of many shops to offer lower prices. The argument was that they "entered into a special relationship with the customer that lasted all through their photographic careers" - this special relationship only extended to those who spent a lot of course, service standards were not high but prices were. The amount of inefficiency was staggering.

All in the name of good service.
Best regards, John

Mike-P

Link Posted 14/03/2014 - 16:36
RalphHardwick wrote:

I'm lucky that I live 25 miles away from on of these outlets and can go and 'handle' the goods.

I'm lucky I don't and can't
. My Flickr

johnriley

Link Posted 14/03/2014 - 16:40
Quote:
I'm lucky I don't and can't

Too true, but it's only a mouse click away....

I sometimes think that it would be great if the SRS website was more like Amazon. Wish lists, one-click ordering....but maybe it's not such a hot idea.

Hope Chris isn't listening....
Best regards, John

ChrisA

Link Posted 14/03/2014 - 18:12
johnriley wrote:
I sometimes think that it would be great if the SRS website was more like Amazon. Wish lists, one-click ordering....but maybe it's not such a hot idea.

Hope Chris isn't listening....

I wish he had interest-free credit, like Jessops.

I'd have had a K-3 at its initial release price, probably...

Not that I'd buy one from Jessops just to get the IFC.
.
Pentax K-3, DA18-135, DA35 F2.4, DA17-70, DA55-300, FA28-200, A50 F1.7, A100 F4 Macro, A400 F5.6, Sigma 10-20 EXDC, 50-500 F4.5-6.3 APO DG OS Samsung flash SEF-54PZF(x2)
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Last Edited by ChrisA on 14/03/2014 - 18:13

Offertonhatter

Link Posted 14/03/2014 - 19:35
Some good news, Calumet UK is unaffected by the USA situation, so although they don't really sell Pentax at all, they do sell excellent Studio accessories.

As for the complex tax system of online retail which I won't go into, The sad fact is that people will buy online without actually handling the product. Now that works with say a book. But something like a Camera, it is just wrong. How do they know that something like brand A camera will be suitable for them as opposed to Brand B, just by looking at some pictures and seeing some (biased) youtube review? Of course they can't.....
But the convenience of clicking away on the laptop and actually being lazy to an extent of not going out and trying, only hurts the high street.

The bright side though is that the likes of New-Jessops, SRS, Park, et al, are starting to get wise to this, and are offering the same price as the online giants, and provide things like delivery to a local shop to try etc.
Will I buy camera gear from Amazon? Not a bit of it.

As an aside, I was in a certain high street store and in ill informed salesperson said when I mentioned SRS, that they sell grey imports. Of course I had to put him straight quite firmly that all stock is UK sourced. Needless to say he was humbled.......
Some Cameras

RalphHardwick

Link Posted 14/03/2014 - 22:20
Mike-P wrote:
RalphHardwick wrote:

I'm lucky that I live 25 miles away from on of these outlets and can go and 'handle' the goods.

I'm lucky I don't and can't

My wife wishes that I didn't
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"I carry a camera to capture memories and the occasional photograph worthy of sharing"
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