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Alex_M

Bought Affinity Photo and were charged VAT

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We bought Affinity Photo but were charged VAT even though we are a VAT registered company in the EU (Bulgaria) and we shouldn't have been charged with VAT. Did anyone else get charged VAT when purchasing Photo or Designer as a company? It's not about the small sum of about $8 that we paid more. I think that this shouldn't happen. What if we wanted to buy 20 copies in a bulk? That would have been $160 more paid instead of $8.


Affinity Photo 1.7.3.481 for Windows Windows 10 x64 1909  CPU AMD Threadripper 3970x  RAM 32 GB GPU GTX 1080 Ti FE 11GB NVMe SSD Samsung 960 Pro 512 GB  Monitor Eizo ColorEdge CS2420 24"

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Did you supply your VAT number when you placed your order? If you supply an order with proof you are VAT registered (the number) there is no need to charge VAT.

 

http://europa.eu/youreurope/business/vat-customs/cross-border/index_en.htm

 

I doubt the automatic online ordering system could allow for that. You would have to place an official order.


Windows PCs. Photo and Designer, latest non-beta versions.

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Did you supply your VAT number when you placed your order? If you supply an order with proof you are VAT registered (the number) there is no need to charge VAT.

 

http://europa.eu/youreurope/business/vat-customs/cross-border/index_en.htm

 

I doubt the automatic online ordering system could allow for that. You would have to place an official order.

 

In the order placement page there were no fields for entering company info and VAT number. Have a look: https://affinity.store/en-us/buy/windows/photo/?_ga=2.143966005.1010127164.1497582069-2128043782.1495208579 Do you see such or am I blind? We were asked to supply company information and VAT number only after we made the purchase, in the "VAT Receipt Details" page. This seemed strange.

 

By the way, what do you mean we should have placed "an official order"? Can you clarify what does "an official order" mean?

 

Hi Alex_M

Please contact affinityorders@serif.com for help with this. :)

 

We did contact affinityorders@serif.com and they said that they can't help with this issue because "the system we use cannot process orders without VAT". That's a bit bizarre to say the least.

 

So did anyone who bought Photo or Designer manage to complete an order without being charged VAT?


Affinity Photo 1.7.3.481 for Windows Windows 10 x64 1909  CPU AMD Threadripper 3970x  RAM 32 GB GPU GTX 1080 Ti FE 11GB NVMe SSD Samsung 960 Pro 512 GB  Monitor Eizo ColorEdge CS2420 24"

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In the order placement page there were no fields for entering company info and VAT number. Have a look: https://affinity.store/en-us/buy/windows/photo/?_ga=2.143966005.1010127164.1497582069-2128043782.1495208579 Do you see such or am I blind? I was asked to supply company information and VAT number only after I made the purchase, in the "VAT Receipt Details" page. This seemed strange to me.

 

By the way, what do you mean I should have placed "an official order"? Can you clarify what does "an official order" mean?

 

 

I did contact affinityorders@serif.com and that they said that they can't help with this issue because "the system we use cannot process orders without VAT". That's a bit bizarre to say the least.

 

So did anyone who bought Photo or Designer manage to complete an order without being charged VAT?

 

"Can you clarify what does "an official order" mean?"

 

That's pretty standard for any company doing business.

 

I used to supply good to the EU (or outside the  EU) when I was VAT registered and I had to get an "official order" from whoever wanted to buy the goods. Basically, if your company is small doesn't use orders, just a letter with "Please supply xyz goods" and then providing their company details and VAT number. That "official order" is needed for any company supplying goods without tax to comply with local tax laws. The local tax collectors will almost certainly want to make sure the VAT number and order is from a genuine company. That is their job, to make sure they get ALL the taxes they are due (or think they are due) and paperwork is a necessary part of that. In the EU, bureaucracy rules supreme

 

I used to get a periodic inspections by VAT inspectors (about once every two or three years) and they would always want to know about anything I had sold without VAT on it and would inspect the "official order" from the company ordering the goods. 

 

In all the cases I know, you have to supply your company details and VAT number before it goes through to the pricing stage. As I said, I doubt Affinity has that facility on an automatic ordering system because most of their sales are likely to be to private customers. You can't really expect them to go to all that extra trouble for one or two small orders and most companies ordering larger quantities would probably expect a discount so would negotiate a "one off" price. In any case, as an registered VAT company surely you can claim it back easily enough.

 

If you contact Serif directly before ordering a larger quantity and send them the necessary paperwork I'm sure they will be very pleased to help you. !


Windows PCs. Photo and Designer, latest non-beta versions.

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I'm in the same position with Alex_M actually right now...I purchased Designer and there was no VAT exemption. VAT should apply ONLY B2C in Europe and B2B in the same EU country...When it's B2B for example from UK to another EU country VAT should be deducted and it needs to be available as an option during the check out. @JFisher can you help me too please...

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1 hour ago, ZodiacArts said:

I'm in the same position with Alex_M actually right now...I purchased Designer and there was no VAT exemption. VAT should apply ONLY B2C in Europe and B2B in the same EU country...When it's B2B for example from UK to another EU country VAT should be deducted and it needs to be available as an option during the check out. @JFisher can you help me too please...

Are you sure about that? As far as I know, this is true only if one or both businesses are not VAT registered. If both are businesses are VAT registered, then VAT should not be charged.


Affinity Photo 1.7.3.481 for Windows Windows 10 x64 1909  CPU AMD Threadripper 3970x  RAM 32 GB GPU GTX 1080 Ti FE 11GB NVMe SSD Samsung 960 Pro 512 GB  Monitor Eizo ColorEdge CS2420 24"

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@Alex_M I think that when the buy-sell of goods and services between two businesses in the same EU country you apply VAT. The difference is that you get it back at your vat return.

When the buy-sell of goods and services between two businesses happen in different EU counties, business selling from Bulgaria and business buying in Belgium you do not apply VAT. Like the case here. No?

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I did sent a mail to affinityorders@serif.com, this is the reply:

 

"There is currently no way to pay for an Affinity order minus tax/VAT; this will need to be claimed back by your local government tax office after having purchased the software.

VAT is charged by us at the point of purchase and is included within the invoice produced for you to claim back at a later date; this must be included, since it was charged to you. The only alternative is that we remove the VAT charge that is shown but show on your invoice that the total amount that was charged to you is €54.99 (excluding VAT).
Thanks for your understanding, and if there is anything further I can help with, please let me know.
Best Regards,
Adam"
 
 

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@Adam: claiming back VATis not possible for software (only for delivered material goods) and not possible for organisations which are invoicing incl. VAT like you and us.

to rephrase: Serif should state on the Check out something like:

"Sorry - we are doing like Apple: We only create invoices for consumers (not for companies as required in the EU). Even we collect VAT you will not be able to offset this VAT in your VAT tax declaration"

Source:
 

Quote

Who can get a VAT refund?
To qualify for a refund under this procedure, during the refund period a business mustNOT have:

  • been based in the refunding EU country or
  • supplied goods or services there – except:
    • exempted transport & ancillary services (Articles 144, 146, 148, 149, 151, 153, 159 or 160 VAT Directive) or
    • supplies to customers liable for payment of the related VAT under the reverse-charge mechanism (Articles 194-197 or 199 VAT Directive).

s. https://ec.europa.eu/taxation_customs/business/vat/eu-vat-rules-topic/vat-refunds_en

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Well, this made me cancel my order. Everytime I come across the wrong way of charging VAT, I just vote with my money. 

In Europe, between two companies with a valid VAT id, there should be NO VAT CHARGED. It's an intracommunity delivery.

Affinity, get your act together and maybe I'll buy your software. For now, I'll keep recommending Adobe, at least they know how to charge correctly.

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As a lifelong U.S. citizen, my understanding of the European VAT system is minimal at best, but what I am most curious about is how Serif being based in England in the U.K., which (as I understand it) has always had somewhat different VAT laws than the rest of the EU, & is now in the process of exiting from the EU, affects the legal requirements for collecting or refunding the VAT it collects.

It all seems so enormously complicated to me that I wonder if anybody really understands how it is supposed to work.


Affinity Photo 1.8.4, Affinity Designer 1.8.4, Affinity Publisher 1.8.4;  2020 iMac 27"; 3.8GHz i7, Radeon Pro 5700, 40GB RAM; macOS 10.15.6
Affinity Photo 
1.8.4.186 & Affinity Designer 1.8.4.4 for iPad; 6th Generation iPad 32 GB; Apple Pencil; iPadOS 13.3.1

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20 minutes ago, R C-R said:

England in the U.K., which (as I understand it) has always had somewhat different VAT laws than the rest of the EU

The rates differ across the various EU member states, but I think the rules are substantially the same. For a transaction within the same country, a VAT-registered seller always charges VAT and a buyer who is also VAT-registered can claim it back; for a business-to-business transaction between different countries, the seller should not charge VAT in the first place.


Alfred online2long.gif
Affinity Designer/Photo/Publisher for Windows • Windows 10 Home (4th gen Core i3 CPU)
Affinity Photo for iPad 1.8.4.186 • Designer for iPad 1.8.4.4 • iPadOS 13.7 (iPad Air 2)

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Ok, I have to stand corrected. Just emailing to affinityorders@serif.com was the right move. Got helped pretty quickly, and was billed without VAT. Also, amazing having someone react on Saturday afternoon and processing the order swift and quickly. Love the attitude!

How wrong you can be :)

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I wrote to them on Monday morning, then again on Tuesday, and no answer... I had to buy with VAT applied in order to don't lose the 30% discount, but I'm very disappointed.

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mission succeeded: Ordering via email works as expected. It took several days but finally we got a correct inovice respecting both VAT IDs.

Lessons learned: never use the Affinity Shop if you you need an invoice for a company and be patient. This works also for the Mac version!

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