A new set of financial legislation slated to hit the European Union in 2015 could potentially make life much more difficult for independent game makers trying to sell their games directly to people in the region.
Starting in January, the EU is revising its VAT (Value Added Tax) rules to require independent vendors of "telecommunications, broadcasting and electronic services" (including digital games) to pay taxes on goods they sell based on the tax rate of the buyer's country, rather than the seller's.
In brief, this means that UK-based indie developers who sell their games directly to fellow EU residents (i.e. outside of a third-party platform like Steam) will be expected to pay taxes that they're currently shielded from thanks to a UK tax law that exempts small businesses from VAT.
However, there's still some question as to how the new VAT MOSS ("Mini One Stop Shop") legislation will be implemented or what will happen to developers who don't know (or don't care) to abide by it.
Kotaku UK has published an excellent feature on the topic
that digs into much more detail about what this means for UK-based indies who sell games.
"I imagine most people will not comply, either by choice or out of ignorance," UK-based accountant Matthew Creed told Kotaku. "It's completely unenforceable, is the ultimate headline. There will be 100 million people worldwide selling stuff into the EU. It's not in the interest of the taxpayer to investigate someone over a tiny amount of unpaid tax."
It's worth your time to read the full article
over on Kotaku UK. If you're an independent developer in the EU, it might also be a good idea to talk with an accountant before the VAT MOSS legislation goes into effect on January 1st.