Enjoy buying lots of lovely vinyl through Discogs? New VAT rules in UK and EU could be about to make the process more taxing – in more ways than one…

Update: Since this post was first published, a few tweaks have been made to clarify one or two things. I’m not an accountant or taxman by training, sadly…

There was a time when buying stuff from the EU into the UK was simple. You ordered it from Paris, Berlin or whatever, and you’d have it within a few days. Simple. You only paid for the item, plus the postage. And then came Brexit…

As of today, new rules kick in. If you’re importing things into the European Union or into the UK, you’ll have to pay VAT on it. The full rules are written up in a lengthy, head scratcher of a post at Discogs. However, here’s a more condensed version from me.

If you’re buying up to the value of £135 in the UK, (€150 is the EU threshold) you’ll have to pay VAT. If you’re VAT registered already, just put your VAT ID into your account settings and you’ll be invoiced accordingly.

If you’re not, Discogs will tell you how much is payable. And if the value of your items is over the threshold? Then at that point, you have to make your own arrangements.

All of the above now applies for every single sale, no matter whether it’s for an old vinyl record that cost 50p or a £100 bundle of records. Every single sale into the EU or into the UK will incur VAT. And given that nearly all of the 27 different EU countries have different VAT rates, that’s a lot to get your head around…

In the early 2000s, the British government ran an ad campaign with the slogan “tax doesn’t have to be taxing”. The man who fronted that same campaign complained in 2008 that the tax system was too complicated. As the French say, plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose…

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