Feb 26

EU VAT

Posted by BMT Micro

Reading Time: 3 minutes

 EU VAT - BMT Micro

If you sell digital goods or services, especially to European consumers, you are most likely well aware of Value Added Tax (VAT) and the new changes that were put into effect on January 1, 2015. These changes brought new responsibilities for online businesses in terms of understanding the liabilities and charges in each EU state. However, it was recently announced that there are to be more changes to the EU VAT rules for digital services once again. The legislative changes are not expected until 2017 with draft legislation being introduced in 2016. So to stay ahead of your competition and prepare your business for this upcoming change, let’s go over the basics of EU VAT.

Please note: This blog post is for general guidance only and does not contain any legal advice. Please contact an accountant or your local tax authority for more information about the impact of VAT rules on your business.

What is VAT?
According to the EU, “the Value Added Tax, or VAT, in the European Union is a general, broadly based consumption tax assessed on the value added to goods and services. It applies more or less to all goods and services that are bought and sold for use or consumption in the European Union. Thus, goods which are sold for export or services which are sold to customers abroad are normally not subject to VAT. Conversely imports are taxed to keep the system fair for EU producers so that they can compete on equal terms on the European market with suppliers situated outside the Union.”

Until New Year’s Eve of 2014, VAT was based on the location of the business. However, the new VAT rules that were put into effect on January 1, 2015, state that businesses must now charge the VAT based on the customer’s location.

In short, you are affected by the new rules if the following are true:

  • You sell downloadable digital goods or services including music, films, games, web hosting services, etc. You can find a list here.
  • You sell to customers in EU countries (the rules apply to all sellers providing digital services to customers within the EU, regardless of whether or not you sell from within an EU member state).

And to comply with the new law, you will need to do the following:

  • Identify the location of your customer.
  • Calculate & charge the correct VAT rates based on the customer location & their local rate.
  • Save your customer’s location with two pieces of non-contradictory proof such as a billing address and matching IP address (you’ll need to store the evidence for 10 years).
  • Submit quarterly VAT returns to each EU state, or use a MOSS (Mini-One Stop Shop). MOSS enables businesses to declare and pay VAT for each EU member state through their own home country portal rather than registering for VAT locally in each EU member state separately.

If you would like to learn more about the VAT charges, please see this page: http://www.eurovat.com/online.htm

For many businesses it is easiest to use a reliable E-commerce company like BMT Micro to handle international transactions. It is also worth mentioning the difference between an e-commerce provider and a reseller. Some E-commerce providers act as a payment processor only, which means they forward all receipts to the software developers so they are not responsible for accounting for VAT. E-commerce resellers deal with all shopper invoices and accounting issues so customers always receive invoices with the transactions made. If a third-party platform handles the payment, supply and also sets the standard Terms and Conditions (which BMT Micro does), they are responsible for accounting for VAT.

In compliance with this law, BMT Micro is registered with the UK as a non-EU company and pays VAT to the EU on all electronic purchases from customers residing in the European Union. Vendors of BMT Micro are seamlessly prepared to comply with EU regulations, as follows:

  • BMT Micro already charges VAT based on customers location via IP address.
  • BMT Micro files the VAT tax collected for its vendors.
  • BMT Micro keeps vendor VAT documentation for 10 years (which is required by the new law).
  • Our non-EU VAT number is: EU826001142
  • If you are VAT exempt, entering your complete VAT exemption number on a BMT Micro order form will allow our system to complete the sale without the VAT charge.

As a global e-commerce company, we understand the challenges you face when you sell internationally. We’re dedicated to providing you with the tools you will need to be able to adjust quickly for varying exchange rates and adhere to international taxes, tariffs, and fees. Whether you are a new or established vendor, BMT Micro will handle all the VAT for you, as part of our service. For more information about our services or if you have special needs regarding VAT, including VAT inclusive pricing, please contact our vendor services via email at vendors@bmtmicro.com.

Dec 25

Thank You and Happy Holidays

Posted by BMT Micro

Reading Time: 1 minutes

The end of the holiday season is just a few days away, and now is the perfect time to thank your customers, partners, and professional contacts. Thanking your contacts and letting them know you appreciate their business is not only a nice gesture, but will also help retain their business in the new year. Some business owners often forget this important gesture, especially with the hectic holiday rush. But a business does not have to go overboard and buy lavish gifts to show their appreciation. A simple “thank you” email will work just as well and can go a long way in maintaining your relationships. Which means, there should be no excuses that prevent you from thanking your customers during the holidays.

With that being said, we would like to take a moment to thank our vendors, customers, partners, affiliates, blog readers and social media followers. There really is no time more fitting to say thank you and to wish you happy holidays! We have had a great 2015 and are looking forward to what 2016 will bring!

Thank You & Happy Holidays - BMT Micro

Oct 2
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Thank you to all who participated in our live Twitter Q&A today! As promised, here is the blog post summarizing all the questions asked and the answers.

1. Are there any fees to use your service?
There are absolutely no setup fees or hidden charges for our service

2. When can I start accepting payments?
After signing-up, the review is almost instant & you can start selling in a day or less

3. What payments can I accept?
10 different credit card types, PayPal, Amazon Payments, BitPay, Money Orders/Cashier Checks, Visa/ MC Debit, paysafecard, or wire transfer

4. Will I be charged for no sales?
We charge a % of the commission for each sale so if you never sell anything you do not owe anything

5. When will I get paid for my sales?
Payments are made on the 1st of each month for the previous month’s transactions. There is a 30 days hold on your first payment only.

6. If I live in another country will you have trouble paying me?
We have developers worldwide. International payments are available via PayPal, Payoneer pre-paid Mastercard and wire transfer.

7. Will I need a merchant account or payment gateway?
You do not need any other companies to use our services. All orders are placed through our merchant account using our payment gateway.

8. Will you supply a key generator for my product?
We can integrate our system with your key generator or we can contact your key generator remotely via XML. We are integrated with a number of commercial key generators.

9. Are your shopping carts secure?
All BMT Micro servers are fully secured & host all shopping carts using EV SSL. There is no need to worry about the expense of a secure certificate with us!

10. Can I test my shopping cart?
Yes, a test button is available in our secure vendors area. You can test products at any time.

11. Are you PCI compliant?
Yes. We maintain PCI compliance and are scanned quarterly for both PCI compliance and network security.

12. Do you offer fraud protection?
Yes. Our state-of-the-art fraud detection system automatically screens order and puts questionable ones through a manual approval process.

13. What customer support do you offer?
Our customer service team handles all questions related to the payment and ordering process

14. What about technical support?
For technical support, customers are referred to the developer of the software or product

15. Will my contact information be available to customers?
Your customers are not given your contact information, only a support email or URL address.

16. Do you handle VAT?
Yes. BMT Micro calculates the VAT based on the customers country and uses the appropriate percentage for their country.

17. So are you responsible for all tax assessments?
Yes, all sales are processed by us and through out merchant accounts. This makes us the seller to the customer and the ones responsible for all tax assessments.

Thank you again to all who participated. These are important questions you should ask when searching for a payment solution. BMT Micro handles orders for a multitude of developers worldwide. We are proud to partner with you and to be your choice of payment processor. If you are interested in learning more or have additional questions please feel free to contact our vendor services by email at vendors@bmtmicro.com.

 

Sep 18
Reading Time: 3 minutes

   How SSL Can Protect Your Online Business - BMT Micro

SSL.com defines Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) as “the standard security technology for establishing an encrypted link between a web server and a browser. This link ensures that all data passed between the web server and browsers remain private and integral. SSL is an industry standard and is used by millions of websites in the protection of their online transactions with their customers.”

Meaning when you enter sensitive information into a webpage without SSL, you run the risk of it being intercepted by a prying hacker. This is how your sensitive, personal information can be stolen over the Internet. This interception in the hacking world is most commonly known as a man-in-the-middle attack.

Man-in-the-middle attacks use a technique called ARP spoofing to insert into the communication between a client system and a server system. In other words, the attack tricks the client system into thinking it is communicating with the server system and vice versa. This attack can be used to monitor the network traffic between the two systems, which enables the hacker to steal valuable data or security credentials like IDs or passwords.

man-in-the-middle-BMT Micro

But when a website is protected with SSL the same thing happens between the systems, but this time the hacker receives the information in an encrypted format that is useless to them. An online business can make it difficult for anyone to view his or her network traffic by using an encrypted network connection provided by SSL.

To tell if a website is protected start by looking at the URL. If the URL begins with http://, it is relatively easy for a hacker to intercept the communication. However, when communication over a site beginning with https://, your web browser uses certificates to verify the identity of the servers you are connecting to. An SSL certificate also includes a field for a “signature”. This signature is the name of the party that has verified that the certificate originates from the site it is attempting communication with. If the certificate is signed by a third-party called a Certificate Authority (CA), your browser has assurance that the certificate originates from that site owner.

How_SSL_Can_Protect_Your_Online_Business_-_BMT_Micro_-_How_To_Tell_if_a_Site_is_Protected

There are different levels of assurance that are provided by Certificate Authorities. If your website is handling financial transactions, you want your site visitors assured that their information is protected and you are a legitimate business. This requires an online business to obtain an Enhanced Validation SSL, which is the highest level of assurance provided.

If you are looking to get an SSL certificate for your website, you will need to figure out which type of certificate fits your business needs. An additional option is using a payment processor like BMT Micro. We can save you the time and the expense necessary to keep your customer’s information safe. All BMT Micro servers are fully secured and host all shopping carts using the highest encryption standard available, Extended Validation SSL. EV SSL certificates provide 256-bit encryption and enable the most visible security indicator (the green address bar) in high-security browsers. This assures customers that the shopping cart is secure and our identity has been authenticated to the industry’s highest standard.

If you would like to learn more about what BMT Micro can offer your business please feel free to contact our vendor services via email at vendors@bmtmicro.com.

Twitter Logo We are also hosting a live Twitter Q&A for independent developers and established firms with an interest in outsourcing their e-commerce needs. If you have questions about what BMT Micro can offer you, join our Twitter Q&A and ask your questions during the week of Sept. 28th leading up to the Q&A on Oct. 2nd. To find out more information about our Twitter Q&A click here

 

Sep 14
Reading Time: 1 minutes

#Askbmt

On Friday, October 2nd BMT Micro will be hosting a live Twitter Q&A session for independent developers and established firms with an interest in outsourcing their e-commerce needs. We will be answering questions about BMT Micro’s services & offerings and how to get started with BMT Micro on our Twitter account starting at 1PM EST. The Q&A is set to last for 30 minutes and a blog post summarizing all the questions asked and the answers will be posted to the BMT Micro blog following the Q&A. You can submit your questions throughout the week of Sept. 28th leading up to the Q&A on Oct. 2nd. Tweet your questions to @BMTMicro using the hashtag #AskBMT or if you are not on Twitter but would still like to participate, you can join our Facebook event to post your questions there. If your question does not get answered during the live Q&A, it will still be answered in the blog post following the event. If you have any questions please contact our marketing specialist via email at leah@bmtmicro.com