Get VAT registration rules right
Okay, the new system for 'fulfilment by 3d hubs' sounds great - I agree that selecting hubs with good stats sounds fair and is in the best interests of the customer. However, VAT registration for 26 of the 28 EU countires is not manditory for small business (depending on the thresholds of the income of the business). - But we all know that your county 3d Hubs has no exclusion threshold, for which I am sorry you have to register and pay VAT and do all the paperwork, but other countries don't work the same.
Here you will find a link to a document which points out in the end column the levels at which businesses can operate before registering for VAT.
- So why is 3d hubs trying to force my business to do this? - I work for many hospitals, universities and government organisations providing a low level of 3d print and prototyping advice and services of which (due to some educational exemptions) means I don't have a taxible turnover above £85,000 - and thus, I dont need to register for VAT.
I think 3d hubs should:
- Make the 'Can provide invoices' selection in the settings to literally means the hub will provide their own invoice (with or without VAT on the invoice) - As this is perfectly legal (if you really feel the need 3d hubs then make this a regional setting, see the link, for you and Spain it should be manitory VAT registration)..
- Exclude VAT registration from the new 'fulfilled by 3d hubs' criteria.
Mi Evans commented
Just another update - again to the credit of 3d hubs... Today they've been calling a few hubs to work out how to tackle this issue and trying to get the issue sorted.
We were lucky enough to be involved and spoke with their team today, they are trying to look at a way to do this taking into account the way VAT registration works in other countries and they are genuinely putting in some time to make sure this doesn't cause issues for smaller hubs which don't yet cross the VAT threshold.
The outcome of todays calls I was told will be out in the next few days (at least letting the UK hubs know whats going on before the 19th March 'Fulfilled by 3d Hubs' go live). They were very receptive and were keen to get feedback from hubs and they did appreciate the communication the community has put forward so far - they are keeping an eye on the forums and posts here, and although they might not be emailing each person posting they are taking onboard the feedback - So keep writing what you think.
Another issue which I raised on the call was that of 'Hub can supply invoices' - Last year I raised this, that I can supply perfectly legal invoices yet because I'm not VAT registered that 3d hubs shows my hub in the searches as not being able to provide invoices (something whcih does lose us the odd order)... I was today informed that the new 'fulfilled by 3d hubs' feedback has actually highlighted this to 3d hubs as a bug and this is going to be fixed (Although I'm not sure exactly when that will be). This may help to also help many hubs tick off another of the critriea for the new system.
Fingers crossed this should hopefully be good news for UK hubs with regards to the 'Fulfiment by 3d Hubs'.
Mi Evans commented
Just an update - In fairness to 3D hubs - I have just had a response email from CEO Bram de Zwart after sending in details about VAT registration and he has said that the CFO and product managers are going to contact a few UK hubs to hear their view on the local VAT situation and he has forwarded my email to them to investigate.
Hopefully this will get a better understanding for 3D hubs and sort the issue out - I will update you if I hear more.
It is clear that the Netherlands is an unusual situation - where EVERY business must charge VAT. This is not the case for the vast majority of providers in Europe.
The stance on requiring VAT registration does not just exclude all personal print providers, it actually excludes a huge number of small businesses - professionals - from your new vision of 3D Hubs. This is a mistake you should correct.