Saturday, 31 May 2014

I don’t think the EU knows how the internet works

From January 2015, small software developers have a new administrative hassle to worry about: EU VAT

HMRC has issued guidance on the new VAT place of supply rules for digital services, coming into effect on 1 January (2015):

If you’re VAT registered, and selling software B2C in the EU, you now have to account for VAT to the country where each individual belongs.  Have a read of section 1.5 of the above link, and see just how much fun this is going to be.

If you only get paid through an app store, you’re probably OK, as the app store will take the hit, but if like us you collect payments directly via PayPal, it’s going to become very difficult, unless we’re allowed to assume that the PayPal registered address is in fact the one that applies to the customer.  In that case, we can set a different rate of VAT for each country.

However, we still have to pay the VAT to each and every country it’s due to, instead of to a central EU body.  As a result, this will increase costs enormously selling outside of our home countries.  My prediction is that this will lead to a reduction in the amount of independent software available, as the overhead of filing in each country is not generally worth the returns from the sales to those countries.

VS2013.2 : One step forward, two steps back

We try to make it really easy to put together a new application by using the Export Template feature of VS2013 Pro.

Currently we have one template for all of our windows 8 apps, and another for our windows phone apps.

To start a new application, we use VS2013, and say File | New Project

Select our template and we’re off.  In that state we already have our view models, initialization and serialization frameworks, etc.  All of these are built from source files, and aren’t in a class library anywhere, and using templates makes it very quick to create a new independent branch.

We thought that with the advent of the new Universal Apps, we might be able to solve these problems once and for all, however, it isn’t working out like that.

The export template functionality is still there, but it doesn’t work.  You can export the shared project (but that doesn’t show up on the new project templates), and you can try to export either the WP or Windows Store projects, but they fail throwing an error about bad characters in the path.

So, from what I can see, we’ve lost this great functionality.

It appears that you could code up a template by hand by hacking through what’s in the universal app templates, but I’m not sure I can be bothered to at this stage.

With any luck, I’ll find a solution, and post it back here.