Tools for Self-Publishing: KDP VAT Calculator

Starting January 1, 2015, Amazon KDP is switching to making all self-publishers include VAT for all Amazon stores in EU countries.  In other words, we have to add the tax into our list price for any sales in the European Union, or the tax will be deducted from the listed price and our actual sale (and royalties) will be based on a price lower than what we listed.  See here for more information (click on EU VAT on the left).

Since the VAT rate is different in all European countries, this is a pain, so I thought I’d write myself a little calculator to reuse.  Since I figured I wouldn’t be the only one who’d need it, I’m writing it as a blog post.

Notes & sources:

  • VAT rates taken from this Amazon KDP page, which also lists royalty brackets.
  • The prices automatically round to two decimal places — I do not know if Amazon rounds in the same way.  If you are close to the edge of the royalty bracket, I recommend doing your own calculations, double-checking with Amazon, or adding one cent/penny to the calculated prices just in case.
  • VAT is calculated based on where the customer lives, not where the store is based.  So everyone else in Europe shopping in these stores will have a different VAT rate deducted, and there’s no way to customize by purchaser address.  If you want to ensure that your list price remains above a certain level for all EU customers, multiply by 1.27 to account for the highest VAT rate (Hungary at 27%).  If you want to adjust to cover only countries that might give you significant sales, here is a list of VAT rates by country. Pick the places you think you sell a significant number of books and make sure the Amazon stores those people are likely to frequent are increased by that percentage (so, say, if you have a large Irish audience, make sure your Amazon UK price is multiplied by 1.23 instead of 1.20, to cover Ireland’s 23% VAT).  Note, however, that for any VAT inclusion (including what this calculator suggests) you’ll be artificially increasing prices for everyone who shops at that particular Amazon site but doesn’t pay VAT or has a lower rate.
  • I am not an expert on VAT or a tax professional; this is only a calculator for convenience.  I make no guarantees on the correctness of what I’ve said here or that these prices will give you exactly what you want.
  • If anyone has any corrections, additions, or ways to make it better, please let me know in comments!
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About the author

SL Huang (aka MathPencil)
SL Huang (aka MathPencil)

SL Huang justifies an MIT degree by using it to write eccentric mathematical superhero books. Debut novel: Zero Sum Game, a speculative fiction thriller.
 
Website: www.slhuang.com
Twitter: @sl_huang

7 Comments

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  • This is a generous piece of work on your part, thank you. This week I uploaded my first self-pub title to Amazon.com and was confused as to why my $2.99 listing appeared, from Spain, as (something like) $3.34 – now I know…

    • No problem! Yeah, Amazon is adjusting the VAT for us until the end of 2014 (<-- and will do the adjustment automatically on 1/1/15 for anything published in 2014), but anything we upload after that we have to massage the prices ourselves to account for it. (It makes no sense for Amazon to put it on us instead of adding it on themselves, since it's based on where the CUSTOMER lives, and we have no way of knowing that!)

  • Oh good god, I’ve been just trashing those KDP emails thinking, oh, it’s just some TOS stuff that’s not going to affect me. This kind of affects me a lot! Thank you so much for writing this up with all the details and calculators! SO USEFUL!

    • You’re quite welcome! Ha, yeah, I do that too sometimes, just skip/skim emails and then suddenly it’s all, “WAIT! That was *important?!*”

      You shouldn’t have to re-adjust anything you’ve published pre-2015 — they’re supposed to do that for us. The VAT-inclusion starts being dumped on us for any books we upload after 1/1/15. If you deleted the emails let me know and I can forward them. 😀

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