Weebly asking for VAT number

I have a few non-business sites on Weebly. I just got an email purporting to come from Weebly support saying ‘Please update your VAT number’. I’ve never had one, or a TVA number either. Does anyone know what this is about? Hoping it can be ignored (plan A). Plan B of course is to contact them. Not always a rapid affair.

Full text : We will be required to start charging VAT to our subscription services being provided in your geographical area if a valid VAT ID number is not provided. We appreciate if you could please provide us with VAT ID number by October 1, 2021. If we haven’t received a valid VAT number by October 1, 2021, we’ll start adding indirect tax to the subscription charge based on the laws of your geographical area. For more information, please visit your country’s tax authority’s website.

Seems straightforward - if you supply them with a VAT/TVA number they will continue to charge (presumably) the same rate, otherwise they will stick 20% on top.

Yes, sorry to be thick, but why?

Because they have to.

They are US based so, because of the recent changes in EU (and UK) VAT regulations, they (and all other overseas retailers and service providers) have to collect VAT.

OK thanks. The last time I was invoiced was Jan 2020 and the tax was 0%. I suppose the EU VAT regulations must have changed since then. Without a TVA number, I will have to pay the tax to Weebly. But I don’t see how that gets back to the French authorities…

Weebly give it to them (in theory).

just wondering

Is this the time to consider changing from Weebly…
What are the major benefits of staying with them… ???

Some of the reasons… I’ve used it for ages and know it well. I have several sites with them. I used to have some labour intensive Dreamweaver sites and moved them to Weebly because I liked their drag and drop system. I tried Wix but it was less straightforward. Can you suggest something better Sunbeam ?

Seriously… I’ve no idea… I was merely wondering if there was any alterative.
It would annoy me to be charged VAT when I wasn’t liable… that’s my niggle.

Presumably the same VAT question would arise with any other Sites ??? or just Weebly ??

@graham … any ideas ???

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There are many alternatives to Weebly but really not as good because I’d have to re-learn how to do everything and I’m beginning to realise I’m too old for that ! In any case it looks like they are all going to be doing this TVA thing - most are based in the US. Weebly and Wix, at least, seem to have set up some sort of entity in the EU. Maybe that’s how they will pay, to the French tax authorities, the TVA that I will have to pay to them. I suppose it’s only like buying a service originating in France and paying TVA. It just took me aback to be asked for a VAT No.
Btw Weebly is good because it’s one of the easiest website builders easy to use, and the interface is handily in EN (for US) and FR (for Canada), so it means I can hand over, theoretically, certain the sites to a French speaker when the time comes.

If the consumer of the service is not registered for TVA - which would be the case here as the OP suggests she is not in business and TVA becomes chargeable on the service provided then the consumer has to pay it and the merchant will account for it in their TVA return to the relevant authority.
If the business consumer is TVA registered and TVA is charged, there is no nett effect on the business as they will claim it back as input tax on their return but in general it was the case for transactions between businesses in EU States, cross border sales would not generate a direct TVA tax liability as the merchant (the seller) would record the sale on their EU Sales return and provided they have a valid TVA number, they will not make a TVA charge to their business customer.
Whether or not the TVA status of the provision of internet services such as Weebly has changed recently I have absolutely no idea but if TVA is due, and you are the end consumer, it falls to you to pay it.
NOTE: this mainly refers to cross border transactions. If the invoicing entity is France based, the you will be charged TVA at the relevant rate whether you are a business or a private individual, the only difference being your ability to claim input tax as stated.

Yes, thanks for the explanation Graham. I will simply have to pay more than I paid before whatever changed recently. At least it’s nothing to do with Brexit !

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It’s always been the case with regard to trading with overseas businesses not in the EU. If you are not VAT registered, they charge you VAT. If you are registered (I am) the VAT is ‘Intracommunitaire’ (already sorted) so is not added to the final amount.

Simples!

Thanks Rob. That’s why I was puzzled. All my invoices up to now have included 0% tax, so there must be a new regulation.