Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 39
Tschakko

Different prices of Premium Membership

Recommended Posts

And, as a reminder - please avoid use of profanity, even if obscured. You are free to post your grievances, but only respectfully and in a family-friendly manner.

 

You just made me laugh! It's ok to treat every single European like an idiot but beware of blasphemy!!!

I think you have a BIG problem with priorities back there in Seatle.

 

Besides of that the official statement given sounds like a lot of air. With every debacle it's comming clearer and clearer to me: Groundspeak does not want to interact with their users. They just want us to shut up and listen to what they impose!

Best proof of this are the former feedback portals that were shutdown. And even in this forum there is way to little interaction with the members to really proof they care about us and our ideas.

 

How do you expect us to pay our respect to the Groundspeak employees after the respect-less way you keep treating your customers. You have been loosing credit several times in the past, but this time you nailed it!

Share this post


Link to post

Even if we take out 5 euro VAT, that still leaves 5 euros unaccounted for. I'd rather pay in dollars and have a transaction fee. Those are typically less than 5 euros.

Share this post


Link to post

When my PM runs out this year, I'll stay BM. I'm not willing to pay 1/3 more now.

@ Groundspeak: poor argumentation so far.

Share this post


Link to post

Groundspeak: Don't take too long researching whether you "can" reveal your VAT number. Every sale you make until you do is breaking the law. You have no defence of ignorance (which is no defence anyway).

 

If you wanted to apologise for this appalling blunder and lies to your European customers, and perhaps ease the acceptance of this price increase, why not give us, say, three months free to existing premium subscribers? If you're not already in damage limitation mode, imo you should be.

Share this post


Link to post

Just done some checking on the renewals page, and they correctly identify non EU european countries as paying in dollars.

 

For the english speakers, Isle of Man, Jersey, Guernsey and Gibralter are not part of the EU. Make friends with somebody from one of those regions and get them to pay for the subscription.

 

I know that Norway and Switzerland are also not part of the EU and are therefore charged in dollars.

Edited by ivanidea

Share this post


Link to post

After reading this thread and the german thread, I can't believe what is official written. I guess, that GS want to make an easy price system.

If the tax thing is real, I would advise GS to take a specialist for european tax rules and websites rules. Otherwise GS get problems in the future if a creative lawyer find it out and sent GS an expensive warning.

Share this post


Link to post

And you haven't mentioned Groundspeak's long-standing promise that the cost would not increase so long as members continue to renew. You may have removed that promise from the website but Google reveals plenty of links to the fact of its existence.

 

What do they care about their talks from yesterday? They are huge! They are famous! They do not need to care about customers thoughts and feelings! They do not need customers!

It's already been stated in this thread that the promise will be honored, so please stop suggesting otherwise. Thanks.

Share this post


Link to post

And you haven't mentioned Groundspeak's long-standing promise that the cost would not increase so long as members continue to renew. You may have removed that promise from the website but Google reveals plenty of links to the fact of its existence.

 

What do they care about their talks from yesterday? They are huge! They are famous! They do not need to care about customers thoughts and feelings! They do not need customers!

It's already been stated in this thread that the promise will be honored, so please stop suggesting otherwise. Thanks.

 

Where exactly has this been written? I did not read a word about it. All they say is that they will charge 30,-€ including "VAT" and period! If it were just VAT and a correct calculated one I wouldn´t be discussing here.

Share this post


Link to post

And you haven't mentioned Groundspeak's long-standing promise that the cost would not increase so long as members continue to renew. You may have removed that promise from the website but Google reveals plenty of links to the fact of its existence.

 

What do they care about their talks from yesterday? They are huge! They are famous! They do not need to care about customers thoughts and feelings! They do not need customers!

It's already been stated in this thread that the promise will be honored, so please stop suggesting otherwise. Thanks.

And can you start to treat us, the europeans, in a correct and not arrogant way? Would also be nice. Be sure, if you where able to read german ... more cachers would post their thoughts about this discrimination in this forum. Just tell the truth and most of us will accept a new price, if it is not only for the europeans and please ... save yourselve and us time by stop writing such post like Brian did.

Edited by Chapeman

Share this post


Link to post

And you haven't mentioned Groundspeak's long-standing promise that the cost would not increase so long as members continue to renew. You may have removed that promise from the website but Google reveals plenty of links to the fact of its existence.

 

It's already been stated in this thread that the promise will be honored, so please stop suggesting otherwise. Thanks.

Please could you point me at the statement which confirms that? The only mention I can see in this thread is #26 where Moun10Bike says that the promise will be honoured only if the membership was auto-renewing, and that's not what the promise was.

 

If I go through the motions of renewing one of my premium accounts I'm told the price is £24.99, not the $30 it should be according to the promise.

Share this post


Link to post

Where applicable, receipts for PM payments will include the statement “VAT Inclusive” going forward. We believe this is the legal requirement we are required to meet.

No, it'as not. You have to give the net. price, VAT Rate, VAT amount and the total price incl. VAT on a proper receit.

 

We do not want to publish the registration number if it is not permitted
It's not only permitted to give the VAT registration number, it is mandatory! So why you are making such a fuss about it?

 

I think, the price was set at 29,90€ because it was 29,90$ before and G$ hoped that nobody would notice the shift from $ to €. Otherwise G$ would have communicated in advance and would simply give its VAT reg. number.

Edited by squirrel42

Share this post


Link to post

I'm going to raise a simple query about the whole VAT issue. My company is registered in the UK and deals exclusively within the UK so this is one I'm genuinely uncertain about.

 

If Groundspeak has no physical presence within the EU I'd question where the liability to pay VAT comes from in the first place. If you take a company like Microsoft, although it's a non-EU firm (being based in Redmond) it does have European subsidiaries. So if I buy a product I buy it from Microsoft UK and as Microsoft UK charges the VAT at the prevailing rate. Presumably Microsoft France or Microsoft Germany charges French and German customers the appropriate rate of VAT. Even though Microsoft is a non-EU firm their presence within the EU means they register for VAT. In that regard it seems much like the way US sales tax works - you charge Washington state residents sales tax but residents of other states pay no sales tax. If you had a head office in WA and a subsidiary office in MD you would charge WA and MD residents sales tax on their purchases but not residents of other states, no?

 

With respect to the lackeys, you seem to know very little about this new tax you are allegedly learning so much about. This kind of thing would be worth checking into in detail (in the sense of hiring someone who knows what they are talking about, as it seems precious few of you know much about the subject). If there is no requirement to charge VAT all you achieve by charging it is raising the price for those from the UK and EU and upsetting a lot of people along the way.

 

If nothing else you don't even seem to understand the way issuing a VAT invoice works. A VAT invoice shows the net amount, the VAT charged and the total amount and includes the VAT registration number of the charging entity. This allows verification that the VAT charged is legitimate - without it anyone could increase their price by 20% simply by putting "+VAT" on the end of everything without ever passing the money on to the taxman.

Share this post


Link to post

Ok, I have been warned to post links to other websites. Sorry, I shall not do so again. Protest against censorship is also against the rules. Thx for the information. I shall not do so again.

 

Yet I think it will be allowed to mention the Geocoin Discussion Forums. I welcome you to take a look at the list of official resellers of Groundspeak pinned in that forum. Please go to that thread as it might be off topic in here.

 

As far as I am concerned I am out of this discussion. I can´t stand mistreatment and discrimination. It´s been proven to me, that this pricehike has got nothing to do with VAT reasons.

Share this post


Link to post

Hello there,

 

I just noticed, that the prices of the premium membership do vary depending on the region you live in. I will move to the amercias soon and so I tried two different countries.

 

Germany would be 29.99 Euros per year and in America it would only be 29.99 Dollars. That´s almost an additional 10 Dollars for Europeans.

 

Does anyone know why this would be appropriate? I have to say that I do feel a bit discriminated and disappointed. I really doubt, that the income levels do differ that much...

 

I couldn't care less.

 

I'm buying goods for thousands of dollars from the US every year for another hobby and I'm used to the price differences. So what? Had to fuel up up my 4x4 yesterday, after filling both tanks it was close to 300$ - so I refuse to cry about paying 30€ per year.

Share this post


Link to post

I don't see the problem. GS is a commercial compagnie. They want and have to make money. You are free to use the site and not committed to buy PM. If you don't like what they offer be a standard member like me or (re)move your caches and go to one of the other cachingsites.

 

If 20% of the users leave they will change the prise again. when they keep getting raise the prises they will place there selves out of the market.

 

see it's simpel

Share this post


Link to post

Ok, I have been warned to post links to other websites. Sorry, I shall not do so again. Protest against censorship is also against the rules. Thx for the information. I shall not do so again.

 

Yet I think it will be allowed to mention the Geocoin Discussion Forums. I welcome you to take a look at the list of official resellers of Groundspeak pinned in that forum. Please go to that thread as it might be off topic in here.

 

As far as I am concerned I am out of this discussion. I can´t stand mistreatment and discrimination. It´s been proven to me, that this pricehike has got nothing to do with VAT reasons.

 

Seems that, it is OK to post links to other websites that helps selling Groundspeak's products. It is not OK to post links to other websites that helps to buy Groundspeak's products at a better price for the final consumer.

 

Post screenshoted.

Edited by MAntunes

Share this post


Link to post

Something fishy is going on here, I see a lot of mails that replies were posted in this thread but when reading the new posts I see some missing here. It seems the censor is having lot of work these days.

 

Then there's the removing of links in posts. If EU-PM's are renewing via the Canadian company GS still gets it's money, the EU-PM's get their membership at the normal rate and it's all legal. I don't see a problem in that unless what's been written here a few times is true and GS has no VAT registration and just wants to (selectively) raise the prices.

Thing is, nobody cares if GS raises prices but nobody want to be lied to.

 

So GS, clean up your act, publish your VAT number and make a correct calculation Fee + %VAT = Total just like you do in your bookkeeping administration. I don't think that your tax return should say $xxxx total income and that includes everything. It should be itemized.

Share this post


Link to post

Hello there,

 

I just noticed, that the prices of the premium membership do vary depending on the region you live in. I will move to the amercias soon and so I tried two different countries.

 

Germany would be 29.99 Euros per year and in America it would only be 29.99 Dollars. That´s almost an additional 10 Dollars for Europeans.

 

Does anyone know why this would be appropriate? I have to say that I do feel a bit discriminated and disappointed. I really doubt, that the income levels do differ that much...

 

I couldn't care less.

 

I'm buying goods for thousands of dollars from the US every year for another hobby and I'm used to the price differences. So what? Had to fuel up up my 4x4 yesterday, after filling both tanks it was close to 300$ - so I refuse to cry about paying 30€ per year.

 

Well, congratualations. You are a rich person.

 

But u certainly did not get what all this discussion is all about.

 

If youre ok with it to be fooled, that´s fine with me.

Share this post


Link to post

see it's simpel

 

It's not. Tax is not something you can "round off/up" it's a specific amount and should be calculated so the taxman is happy about it. Ever knowb a taxman who's happy with "it's about €xxx"?

Share this post


Link to post

see it's simpel

 

It's not. Tax is not something you can "round off/up" it's a specific amount and should be calculated so the taxman is happy about it. Ever knowb a taxman who's happy with "it's about €xxx"?

 

I got my own business, If I don't trust the compagnie im working with, I do no business with them. still simple.

Share this post


Link to post

I don't see the problem. GS is a commercial compagnie. They want and have to make money. You are free to use the site and not committed to buy PM. If you don't like what they offer be a standard member like me or (re)move your caches and go to one of the other cachingsites.

 

If 20% of the users leave they will change the prise again. when they keep getting raise the prises they will place there selves out of the market.

 

see it's simpel

I understand that G$ is a commercial company and that's totaly ok for me. It's about how they treat their customers. I dont' like to be lied to when buying someones product. That they delete critical posts shows clearly to my opinion: It's not about the VAT. But the VAT is the thin excuse they give. That's not ok. When they want to make more money from their european cusomers they should call it by that name. Simple as that. And not "hey, we've got something good for you..." Why is a higher price good for anmyone?

Share this post


Link to post

Ik know it's not nice to read. it is a compagnie and you are free to buy or leave. GS is free to make any price they want.

 

just take it or leave it.

 

the only power you have as a consumer is to leave. this will cost them money and make them reconsider to change the prise. Maybe the have so much users they changed the policy; that they can live from the US users and that the EU users are a stone on there leg. Less users from the EU is a better performance of the site for the US Users.

Edited by zaanhoeve

Share this post


Link to post

Ik know it's not nice to read. it is a compagnie and you are free to buy or leave. GS is free to make any price they want.

 

just take it or leave it.

 

You still did not get it.

Share this post


Link to post

If Groundspeak has no physical presence within the EU I'd question where the liability to pay VAT comes from in the first place

I am not a tax expert but as I understand it the requirement for non-EU companies to charge VAT on digital services supplied to EU residents arises from the EC Digital Services Directive (Council Directive 2002/38/EC). The problem the EU wanted to solve was that EU businesses were at a competitive disadvantage with respect to non-EU businesses because the former would have to charge VAT but the latter would not, thus making their prices seem more attractive. It's the same loophole - now closed - as companies selling to UK residents from Jersey. The new regulations came into effect on 1st July 2003. There are many articles on the subject on the web: this and this both give readable summaries.

 

In order to comply with the directive a company such as Groundspeak must register for VAT in, potentially, all EU member states in which they do business. For convenience, the directive permits the company to register in only one EU member and remit VAT to that country (but the return must specify how much is due to each member state: the chosen country sends the VAT on to the purchaser's country). However - and this is the key - the VAT must be calculated with respect to the VAT rate in the purchaser's country. This - aside from the poor communication - is the fundamental error which Groundspeak has made.

 

The basic cost of a premium membership is USD30 (or possibly USD29.99: both have been mentioned). That this is the basic cost is confirmed by the post in this thread which describes the higher, taxed cost for residents of Washington state. Therefore VAT, at the rate prevailing in the purchaser's country, should be applied to USD30. For those of us in the UK this is 20%. Taking yesterday's USD/GBP exchange rate of 1.53/1 that makes the cost of a premium membership USD30 + 20% VAT = USD36.00 = GBP23.53. But Groundspeak will charge GBP24.99. There is therefore a hidden price increase under the guise of a tax change.

 

My concern isn't because of the overall increase in the cost of membership but rather because of Groundspeak using the EU directive to implement a price increase in an opaque way. It's not Groundspeak's fault that the EU decided to implement this directive, but it is Groundspeak's fault that they've chosen to increase the basic price using the directive as a reason, despite their now quietly-removed promise that premium memberships would remain the same so longer as the member continued to renew.

 

What I'd like Groundspeak to do is to revise the pricing in a transparent way which accords with the requirements of the directive. This requires an expert in the directive but it seems to me that Groundspeak should:

- abandon the GBP24.00/EUR29.99 "simple" - and probably non-compliant - pricing

- confirm USD30 as the basic membership price

- apply VAT at the rate prevailing in the purchaser's country

- stand by their promise of not increasing the (pre-tax) cost of membership so long as the member continues to renew.

 

Actually, I don't even mind about the last point: a promise to never increase prices is clearly unsustainable. I've been a premium member since 2003 and I can't recall any other company I deal with which hasn't increased prices in the last ten years, whilst also enhancing the product (notifications, PQs>500, and API were significant improvements).

 

Therefore my concern comes down to the lack of transparency and the poor communication. Had Groundspeak announced that it needed to comply with the directive and also to increase the basic price then, while that would have the same result, I wouldn't feel that I've been mistreated as I do now. In a business relationship respect is important, and I don't feel I've been treated respectfully by Groundspeak in this.

Edited by Alan White

Share this post


Link to post

If Groundspeak has no physical presence within the EU I'd question where the liability to pay VAT comes from in the first place

I am not a tax expert but as I understand it the requirement for non-EU companies to charge VAT on digital services supplied to EU residents arises from the EC Digital Services Directive (Council Directive 2002/38/EC). The problem the EU wanted to solve was that EU businesses were at a competitive disadvantage with respect to non-EU businesses because the former would have to charge VAT but the latter would not, thus making their prices seem more attractive. It's the same loophole - now closed - as companies selling to UK residents from Jersey. The new regulations came into effect on 1st July 2003. There are many articles on the subject on the web: this and this both give readable summaries.

 

The bit I'm still unclear on is how the EU can apply its legislation to companies based outside the EU. Whatever the relative rights and wrongs of different tax treatments or whether it's "fair" it's hard to see why a company based outside the EU should have any responsibility to comply with EU legislation. If a company like Groundspeak with its office in the US and no physical operations at all in Europe were to simply ignore the directive, what power would the EU have to enforce it?

 

It's also curious that Groundspeak is only deciding to charge VAT now, if the regulations have been in effect since 2003. Does that mean they have been operating illegally for a decade

 

Actually, I don't even mind about the last point: a promise to never increase prices is clearly unsustainable. I've been a premium member since 2003 and I can't recall any other company I deal with which hasn't increased prices in the last ten years, whilst also enhancing the product (notifications, PQs>500, and API were significant improvements).

 

Agreed, a promise that the same price will apply forever is clearly not sustainable.

 

Therefore my concern comes down to the lack of transparency and the poor communication. Had Groundspeak announced that it needed to comply with the directive and also to increase the basic price then, while that would have the same result, I wouldn't feel that I've been mistreated as I do now. In a business relationship respect is important, and I don't feel I've been treated respectfully by Groundspeak in this.

 

Also agreed. As I mentioned above it seems that instad of just saying "we have to put the prices up" we've had all sorts of fudges and claims that it's for our benefit, which comes across as rather like saying "the currency variations mean it might be £18 and it might be £20 so we'll call it £25 so you don't have to deal with the variation" as if that were somehow doing us a favour.

 

ETA: When it's time to decide whether I'll be renewing my premium membership or not the thing I consider is whether the price represents value for money based on what I actually get out of it rather than the details of how the price is broken down - in that regard it's just like dealing with any other company. It is a shame that Groundspeak seems to regard us, its paying customers, with such apparently shabby disregard.

Edited by team tisri

Share this post


Link to post

The bit I'm still unclear on is how the EU can apply its legislation to companies based outside the EU. Whatever the relative rights and wrongs of different tax treatments or whether it's "fair" it's hard to see why a company based outside the EU should have any responsibility to comply with EU legislation.

 

Maybe I can help a little bit.

 

The opposite also happens and I have an actual example of it.

 

I'm a software developer in a pharmaceutical company here in Portugal, and we're developing a report to show to US authorities the origin and precedence of all raw and package materials used in our products. It is not only enough that the final product passes all the quality tests during and after the development of the product but it is also necessary to show the origin of the materials.

 

And what will happen if we do not comply with US legislation? Maybe we won't sell our products in the US market...

Share this post


Link to post

Something fishy is going on here, I see a lot of mails that replies were posted in this thread but when reading the new posts I see some missing here. It seems the censor is having lot of work these days.

 

yep, a lot of posts have been deleted! Think what you want about that - if that's still allowed...

No, no, that's the famous American way of Freedom of speech.

Edited by Atti

Share this post


Link to post

The bit I'm still unclear on is how the EU can apply its legislation to companies based outside the EU. Whatever the relative rights and wrongs of different tax treatments or whether it's "fair" it's hard to see why a company based outside the EU should have any responsibility to comply with EU legislation. If a company like Groundspeak with its office in the US and no physical operations at all in Europe were to simply ignore the directive, what power would the EU have to enforce it?

The short answer, me not being an expert, is: I don't know. The long answer is that the EU is still essentially a trading bloc. Anyone wanting to do business with a trading bloc needs to comply with its requirements, whether they be about product safety, IP, taxation, etc. It's exactly the same the other way round: an EU company has to comply with the USA's requirements to trade there. As for enforcement, trade is usually enforced by international agreement and compromise, though the EU doesn't seem shy of using financial penalties when it thinks them appropriate. I imagine that the ultimate sanction would be to prohibit the non-compliant company from trading in the EU.

 

It's also curious that Groundspeak is only deciding to charge VAT now, if the regulations have been in effect since 2003. Does that mean they have been operating illegally for a decade

Yes, I suspect it does. We can only speculate but I think what's probably happened is that Groundspeak's accountants have noticed a large and increasing amount of revenue from EU customers and pointed out the directive. Groundspeak isn't alone in this, of course. I've rarely seen VAT applied when making purchases from non-EU companies. If it's a physical product then VAT is applied at the border along with the other customs charges and I'd have to pay on delivery. In the case of an electronic product or service such as premium membership then VAT can only be levied at the point of sale.

Share this post


Link to post

Here's an idea to liven up this years Mega event.

 

Invite Jeremy over as per usual.... and then we tell the Inland Revenue that he has been claiming VAT for all transactions that UK residents have made. I'm being very serious here, Jeremy could very likely be facing a little chat with the UK authorities if he or any of his senior lackeys set foot on UK soil.

 

Please feel free to correct me as I'm not a UK tax expert but I am under the impression that they frown upon companies not paying the VAT that they've charged their customers.

Share this post


Link to post

Please feel free to correct me as I'm not a UK tax expert but I am under the impression that they frown upon companies not paying the VAT that they've charged their customers.

This page appears to detail the penalties for not paying the VAT or making a mistake in reporting the VAT.

Share this post


Link to post

And you haven't mentioned Groundspeak's long-standing promise that the cost would not increase so long as members continue to renew. You may have removed that promise from the website but Google reveals plenty of links to the fact of its existence.

It's already been stated in this thread that the promise will be honored, so please stop suggesting otherwise. Thanks.

 

Really? Its not the way I read the thread. When I joined, I was told that the price would remain the same as long as membership was renewed. Or as it was expressed at the time, "... you will always be locked in at the current rate as long as you continue to renew." There was no requirement that membership be renewed in any particular way. I regard that as being more than a promise, but in any event the quote in this thread was that "only new/nonrecurring members" would be subject to the price increase. On its face, there is a significant difference between the two, and one that could affect all premium members who renew their membership without the recurring charge automatically being applied. But it also could just be the way that the particular statement in this thread was phrased. It was not clarified in Bryan's post, so perhaps it should be addressed under Groundspeak's commitment to provide better proactive communication.

 

If the way that this obligation is being honored is being changed then that should be made clear to all members who joined under the quoted language. If not, the statement in this thread should be clarified.

Edited by geodarts

Share this post


Link to post

The bit I'm still unclear on is how the EU can apply its legislation to companies based outside the EU. Whatever the relative rights and wrongs of different tax treatments or whether it's "fair" it's hard to see why a company based outside the EU should have any responsibility to comply with EU legislation.

 

Maybe I can help a little bit.

 

The opposite also happens and I have an actual example of it.

 

I'm a software developer in a pharmaceutical company here in Portugal, and we're developing a report to show to US authorities the origin and precedence of all raw and package materials used in our products. It is not only enough that the final product passes all the quality tests during and after the development of the product but it is also necessary to show the origin of the materials.

 

And what will happen if we do not comply with US legislation? Maybe we won't sell our products in the US market...

 

The thing is when you're talking about a physical product that is subject to legislation (as pharmaceuticals are) you might decide to tell the US authorities to get stuffed (even if you did put it more diplomatically than that) and in return they could say that your pharmaceuticals were not licensed for sale in the US as they were not shown to meet the required standards.

 

If you were talking about something more mundane, that wasn't subject to any form of licensing or approval in its target market then the chances are these restrictions would not apply.

 

I recently bought some clothing from a company in New Zealand. In the UK clothing for adults is subject to VAT and yet no VAT was payable to the NZ firm. When the package arrived in the UK it is possible that HMRC may assess it for VAT (as indeed they did for one parcel) but the NZ firm has no obligation to collect the VAT on behalf of HMRC.

 

Likewise when the product is virtual it's not as if HMRC can prevent Groundspeak from selling their product into the UK market, and if Groundspeak were to tell HMRC to get stuffed (again, with more or less diplomacy) it's not as if HMRC could do a whole lot about it.

 

In your case with the pharmaceuticals the compliance issue presumably affects the products as they are imported into the US. A premium membership to Groundspeak's web site is not a physical product and as such no UK authorities can impose any controls on where and how they are sold.

Share this post


Link to post

Here's an idea to liven up this years Mega event.

 

Invite Jeremy over as per usual.... and then we tell the Inland Revenue that he has been claiming VAT for all transactions that UK residents have made. I'm being very serious here, Jeremy could very likely be facing a little chat with the UK authorities if he or any of his senior lackeys set foot on UK soil.

 

Please feel free to correct me as I'm not a UK tax expert but I am under the impression that they frown upon companies not paying the VAT that they've charged their customers.

 

I'm sure HMRC do take a very dim view of people charging a fee labelled as VAT and then not passing it on to them. It's hard to see what action they could take against Groundspeak even if they were conclusively proven to be doing such a thing, as they are a US company and therefore presumably not subject to UK legislation.

 

As things stand unless Groundspeak issue an invoice that clearly shows a VAT component I imagine they could just deny they had charged VAT at all, even the existence of a thread like this wouldn't prove anything as they could easily claim that the people posting under the "lackey" tag were misinformed.

Share this post


Link to post

Here's an idea to liven up this years Mega event.

 

Invite Jeremy over as per usual.... and then we tell the Inland Revenue that he has been claiming VAT for all transactions that UK residents have made. I'm being very serious here, Jeremy could very likely be facing a little chat with the UK authorities if he or any of his senior lackeys set foot on UK soil.

 

Please feel free to correct me as I'm not a UK tax expert but I am under the impression that they frown upon companies not paying the VAT that they've charged their customers.

 

I'm sure HMRC do take a very dim view of people charging a fee labelled as VAT and then not passing it on to them. It's hard to see what action they could take against Groundspeak even if they were conclusively proven to be doing such a thing, as they are a US company and therefore presumably not subject to UK legislation.

 

As things stand unless Groundspeak issue an invoice that clearly shows a VAT component I imagine they could just deny they had charged VAT at all, even the existence of a thread like this wouldn't prove anything as they could easily claim that the people posting under the "lackey" tag were misinformed.

 

That's my point. Whilst Jeremy and his upper management are safely behind the American no extradition rules he's safe as houses. However, once he or they set foot in England he would potentially face arrest.

His website clearly shows that it includes VAT, all lackeys are reinforcing this in this and any other discussion. This is easily documented.

So, the website shows an increase for VAT, we are left with a few alternatives:

 

He is charging VAT and is making full payment to HMRC but is not telling anyone his VAT number for some reason,

He is charging VAT and making no payment to HMRC making him liable to arrest in this country,

He is fraudulently claiming to be charging VAT and is liable to arrest by the Police in this country.

 

Not a good set of options really.

 

Wouldn't it be far simpler to say that he needed some extra funds? Why the subterfuge and misdirection?

 

Regarding whether he commits offences in this country by using a website in another, haven't people been convicted of various offences in America whilst they are physically in the UK?

Share this post


Link to post

As things stand unless Groundspeak issue an invoice that clearly shows a VAT component I imagine they could just deny they had charged VAT at all, even the existence of a thread like this wouldn't prove anything as they could easily claim that the people posting under the "lackey" tag were misinformed.

 

when the Lackey in question is one of the sites founders and states "We are registered for VAT via the U.K. under the special scheme for non-EU Businesses"

Share this post


Link to post

As things stand unless Groundspeak issue an invoice that clearly shows a VAT component I imagine they could just deny they had charged VAT at all, ...

 

I don´t know about the UK but for us Germans that could proof to be a serious problem. If GS doesn´t give the VAT to the taxman he´s going to get it from the buyer (for the full 30€). Not having paid the tax means to have committed a crime serious enough to warrant the revocation of a couple of licenses hard to come by. The refusal to give the VAT registration number does not build more confidence.

I planned to renew my PM next month and maybe get one for my sister´s kids. Now I decided to vote with my purse and keep it shut. That means 90€ more budget for other things :).

Edited by cottonmouth

Share this post


Link to post

 

I planned to renew my PM next month and maybe get one for my sister´s kids. Now I decided to vote with my purse and keep it shut. That means 90€ more budget for other things :).

 

What do you mean RENEW? You are not even a PM now. You have found only 44 caches in the last 4 years.

Share this post


Link to post

If I understand everything right, then you have in every country the identical service.

 

So why do people in Americans only have to pay 30,00 $ and German have to pay 40,00 §?

 

You can't argue this with bank fees.

 

Actually I have a premium membership but if you treat European so unfair I won't extend the membership - 30,00 Euros I can spend for something else.

Share this post


Link to post

 

I planned to renew my PM next month and maybe get one for my sister´s kids. Now I decided to vote with my purse and keep it shut. That means 90€ more budget for other things :).

 

What do you mean RENEW? You are not even a PM now. You have found only 44 caches in the last 4 years.

 

Thanks for checking. I have been PM before and skipped the winter months. If you don´t consider getting a new PM in may as renew, that´s fine by me. Geocaching is not my only hobby and certainly not my primary one. PM was a convenient way to locate caches near travel destinations and the price for is not that high compared to the cost of getting there. Whether I actually search for the caches or bother to log online is a different matter.

Share this post


Link to post

As things stand unless Groundspeak issue an invoice that clearly shows a VAT component I imagine they could just deny they had charged VAT at all, ...

 

I don´t know about the UK but for us Germans that could proof to be a serious problem. If GS doesn´t give the VAT to the taxman he´s going to get it from the buyer (for the full 30€). Not having paid the tax means to have committed a crime serious enough to warrant a couple of licenses hard to come by. The refusal to give the VAT registration number does not build more confidence.

I planned to renew my PM next month and maybe get one for my sister´s kids. Now I decided to vote with my purse and keep it shut. That means 90€ more budget for other things :).

 

The thing I keep coming back to is just what laws apply. It seems to me that as a US based company that has no presence in Europe, Groundspeak could quite reasonably tell the EU to get stuffed (with more or less diplomacy as they see fit) with no comeback.

 

Amazon charges VAT on e-books, because if they failed to comply with UK legislation then Amazon UK would get it in the neck from the UK taxman. Adobe charges VAT on software downloads, again because if they did not then presumably Adobe UK would get a visit from the taxman. Smaller businesses in the US (and other nations) who sell me stuff don't charge me VAT because they have no UK presence - the trade takes place, I pay them in dollars, they ship me the goods, and it's up to HMRC to determine whether VAT is payable when the parcel arrives in the UK rather than for the supplier to collect it and forward it to HMRC.

 

If Groundspeak puts "+ VAT" on the end of their price list, charges 20% VAT and then does not pass it on to the relevant tax agency it's hard to see what steps the tax agency could possibly take against them given the lack of jurisdiction. Just as it's hard to see what sanctions could possibly be imposed upon a US company that declined to follow EU legislation if they decided not to implement European VAT legislation, so it's hard to see what sanctions could be applied if they collected the VAT and kept it for themselves.

 

Theoretically speaking even if they did provide a VAT registration number, if they did keep the VAT there's not a whole lot a European tax authority could do about it.

Share this post


Link to post

 

Theoretically speaking even if they did provide a VAT registration number, if they did keep the VAT there's not a whole lot a European tax authority could do about it.

 

Believe me, there is a lot they can do. The US is not a country without jurisdiction. If the do charge VAT tp Europeans in the name of the EU and do not forward it to the EU, then the EU taxmen can pull them to court within the US. There is several agreements between the US and EU, I am sure there is ways to enforce EU laws within the US if they apply.

Edited by Keystone
removed disrespectful statement

Share this post


Link to post

Theoretically speaking even if they did provide a VAT registration number, if they did keep the VAT there's not a whole lot a European tax authority could do about it.

 

It´s easy for the European tax authority. You bought it, you owe the tax, you are going to pay it. How you get your money back is your problem.

The major difference is with the VAT registration number you can claim that you believed the tax would be forwarded and can´t be held responsible for the vendor´s failure. Without it you might well have committed tax evasion. Here you wont get jailed for 6€ but you might loose licenses that required reliability to get them. German authorities tend to be harsh on people evading taxes.

Share this post


Link to post

It's also curious that Groundspeak is only deciding to charge VAT now, if the regulations have been in effect since 2003. Does that mean they have been operating illegally for a decade

Yes, I suspect it does.

 

Here's an idea to liven up this years Mega event.

 

Invite Jeremy over as per usual.... and then we tell the Inland Revenue that he has been claiming VAT for all transactions that UK residents have made.

 

Clearly I don't know anything for sure, and there have been some answers here from GS which are at best ambiguous, and at worst duplicitous, but there was a response by someone (Brian?) which said that basically since 2003 they have been paying the VAT for EU customers, so they were effectively charging us in the UK ~ $25 + VAT (or whatever depending on the VAT rate at the time), and were paying the VAT to HMRC. If that's the case then all they're guilty of is not providing a proper VAT receipt.

 

It beggars belief though that they've been dealing with the VAT for almost 10 years and they still don't know what their responsibilities are with respect to collecting & accounting for VAT.

Share this post


Link to post

So, the website shows an increase for VAT, we are left with a few alternatives:

 

He is charging VAT and is making full payment to HMRC but is not telling anyone his VAT number for some reason,

He is charging VAT and making no payment to HMRC making him liable to arrest in this country,

He is fraudulently claiming to be charging VAT and is liable to arrest by the Police in this country.

 

Here's an idea to liven up this years Mega event.

 

Invite Jeremy over as per usual.... and then we tell the Inland Revenue that he has been claiming VAT for all transactions that UK residents have made. I'm being very serious here, Jeremy could very likely be facing a little chat with the UK authorities if he or any of his senior lackeys set foot on UK soil.

 

Please feel free to correct me as I'm not a UK tax expert but I am under the impression that they frown upon companies not paying the VAT that they've charged their customers.

 

:like:

Share this post


Link to post

I´m feeling like an european Fool now! Thanks Groundspeak! In August ending my PM and will not renewed! We don´t need GS, but you need us and our Caches. Find a Solution or all, make an european HQ with european Server. Yesterday i have need 3h to log 17 Caches. Your Site was so slow that makes me Angry. I paid you for this. I need no Challenges, New Smileys-Designs.

Edited by Keystone
to comply with forum guidelines

Share this post


Link to post

I just played a little bit with the payment options to become premium member. Any county i tried as "my location" outside the EU stated the price at 30 US-Dollars (I tried Switzerland, Russia, Australia, the US and some others), only the EU countries were rated at 30 Euros, no matter if they are in the Euro zone or not - except the UK (25 GBP). So please Groundspeak stop fiddeling about, tell us the story behind! I don't belive the VAT fairy tale.

Edited by squirrel42

Share this post


Link to post

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 39

×
×
  • Create New...