EU: What are eservices?

One of the relatively common questions we receive from our ebiz clients these days is very logical: What are eservices? Let’s start with the terminology and follow it up with examples.

There are many different expressions for this kind of services: electronic services, electronically supplied services, digital services, digital products… We will call them eservices – if the European Commission can live with this, so can we. And it is such a nice, short, effective word. Find out more

Hungary: Tax on telecoms services

In Hungary, under the Act on Telecommunications Tax, telecom companies are subject to a new tax calculated on the basis of phone calls initiated and messages (SMS, MMS) sent by their subscribers. The new act took effect on 1 July 2012. The tax is payable by the service providers and the tax base is calculated on the basis of the total time of calls initiated and the number of messages sent from the call number of the subscriber, or, in the absence of a subscription, the call number registered at the service provider. The tax rates are HUF 2 per minute started for initiated phone calls and HUF 2 per message sent.
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Switzerland: The multi-channel shopper is changing the retail landscape

PwC surveyed 7,005 consumers worldwide, including 1,000 respondents from Switzerland. The single biggest conclusion that we drew from our study is that consumers are outpacing traditional retailers and online pure-players are closing the gap. Consumers choose the channel that best suits their needs, doing their research predominantly online for products before buying the product in a store. Besides company websites, more and more consumers are researching and following brands via social media.
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EU: E-book rates – Commission strikes back

As reported previously here, here, and here, France and Luxembourg have unilaterally decided to tax e-books at a (super)reduced VAT rate. They decided to tax them as “normal” books instead as e-services as they should be treated by the letter of the EU VAT Directive. This gave e-book traders established in France and Luxembourg a considerable advantage when selling e-books to their EU customers compared to e-book traders in other EU countries as it made the e-books in France and Luxembourg approx. 12% cheaper than before (reduction to a 3% super-reduced VAT rate instead of the standard rate of 15% in Luxembourg and to 7% instead of 19.6% in France).

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EU vouchers developments – Lebara, UK SPV legislation and Voucher Directive proposal

May seems to be a very busy month for everyone dealing with vouchers.

First the ECJ’s judgement in the case C-520/10 Lebera has been published on 3 May 2012, which was shortly followed by the text of the proposal for the new Voucher Directive changes to the UK voucher rules, effective as of 10 May 2012. Quite a busy week for a subject discussed for years without any major breakthrough.

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Going to Internet World 2012 in London

Here is the big announcement – I have managed to snatch the last speaker spot at the Internet World 2012 taking place in London next week (24 – 26 April 2012). I will be speaking at the free for all seminar on Thursday, 26 April 2012, as part of the Digital Solutions Theater. The workshop starts at 3 PM London time and should last 20 min. This is perfect – I will be speaking about “VAT and Monetisation” after all and my guess is that if I speak a minute longer everybody will be running out of the hall (through fire exits or jumping out of the windows if necessary).
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A quick update from Thailand

This article has recently caught my eyes (it is from Bangkok Post):

Satit Rungkasiri, the director-general of the Revenue Department, said he was reluctant to impose harsh measures on the mostly young entrepreneurs who operate e-commerce sites. Authorities in fact want to encourage the growth of e-commerce as trade barriers fall with the launch of the ASEAN Economic Community in 2015. Mr Satit said: Find out more