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Online shopping to become more expensive

11:59 29/12/2014

From January 1, Belgium will increase the amount of value-added tax (VAT) to be paid on all e-commerce, including the downloading of apps, games, music, e-books, movies or software, reports Le Soir. The tax will be owed in Belgium, and not in the country where the provider is located. The VAT will rise from 15% to 21%.

The European Union introduced the measure with an aim to put an end to unfair competition between EU Member States. It is not yet clear exactly how much money the Belgian treasury will collect through the new measure, but combined with an increased tax on plastic surgery and a limit on the lowering of the VAT rate for housing renovations, the Treasury is expected to gain around €10 million.

Most websites have already decided to pass on the price increase to the consumer.

Written by Robyn Boyle

Comments

Mikek1300gt

Unfair competition?

Websites have decided to pass on the cost?

I have decided not to pay it.

Dec 29, 2014 19:06
dragosc

and that is OK. only paid e-services (such as software/media/*) will be affected. online shopping for goods/real-merchandise will not be affected. which is also fine. mostly because this kind of services are easier to be relocated in more tax-friendly countries. like india, china, singapore ... irony tag ended.

Dec 29, 2014 22:55
dragosc

@MIKEK1300GT - RE:"pass the cost to consumer" - after all, that's what VAT is all about, right? yet another tax supported by the regular people. :-)

Dec 29, 2014 22:58
Anon2

Unfair competition in Belgium is when consumers have the opportunity to pay the same (considerably lower) prices as people in neighbouring countries. Heaven forbid that Belgian consumers suddenly pay comparable prices for internet, TV, phone, food and other supermarket items, car insurance etc. Competitive pricing is virtually 0 in Belgium itself (shops don't compete, they align their (high) prices), comparative shopping is usually a waste of time and as long as they can keep the hordes from taking advantage of lower prices and rates (including VAT) in other EU countries, the Belgian authorities are able to keep milking the national population.

Dec 30, 2014 08:50
Mikek1300gt

"" (shops don't compete, they align their (high) prices), comparative shopping is usually a waste of time""

Friend of mine looked in to turning his hobby in to a business and make no mistake, if he did not charge the rate set by the supplier, no supplies. Competition seems to be a bit of a dirty word in much of the EU, not only Belgium.

Dec 30, 2014 11:47
Anonymous

This is just another excuse to increase VAT and sadly it is the consumer that has to always suffer.

We might not have to pay so much VAT if there were not so many greedy corrupt politicians that need a fat salary and a pension.

Correct, EU competition is a dirty word used throughout most of the EU.

Dec 30, 2014 12:07
adyepj

Agree with the above! There seems to be virtually no competition in Belgium, prices seem aligned between so called "competitors." Opticians are a prime example, the same products cost half as much in France or Spain. Belgium does not deserve to succeed in business with this mind-set. Belgian consumers are taxed and priced to death -- no wonder the black market thrives!

Dec 31, 2014 14:29