The money you spend on purchases whilst holidaying in the USA, cannot be redeemed. Whilst in almost any other country this is possible.

Some companies like Macys basically give you a 11% discount if you can prove to them you’re a traveller. E.g. Hotel card. Sales tax in California is 8%. Good deal. Purchases bought from the Internet and delivered to your hotel are also often sales tax free. So if you’re staying for few a days, its probably a worthwhile method of buying a camera.

Back in the UK I’ve been trying to better understand tax. I’ve been advised for a startup company contract out your employees and you don’t have to worry about their taxes. That saves a lot of pain. Before continuing, if you are thinking of running a business, get an accountant who will act as an agent for your business. If you are crazy, try and figure it out yourself, like what I’ve been doing.


Now I’ve been trying to get a VAT number for Webconverger. Webconverger is incidentally now a Limited Company, however that doesn’t give you a VAT number. You still need to apply for one.

Why do you want a VAT number? It seems to make lives of European clients less painful. These events have taken place over many weeks.

  1. Spend an hour or two familiarizing yourself with the UK’s tax site
  2. Find a number of a contact centre.
  3. Manage to get through. Though inform you they can’t give advice. Finally they said I probably just need a TAX registration form
  4. Get post with a fat booklet that seems to be the same material on the website and note saying they are out of stock of the VAT registration form
  5. Week later, registration form comes through.
  6. Form says you can register online. News to me.
  7. Find “e-services” under “do it online” which seems applicable to Webconverger.
  8. Find out later that the form is not for UK businesses, “VAT on e-Services Special Scheme is only intended for businesses based outside the EU supplying electronic services to private individuals within the EU.”
  9. Try find the right form on the Website. After a couple of hours… I think I found the VAT registration form
  10. Register. Get told that they need to send a PIN to you by post. Later an confirmation email (thoroughly confused) arrives and it looks like I can eVAT register. I’m hopeful.
  11. Fill in the form to point where it seems that I need a business bank account. I hate business bank accounts because they seem to charge like crazy, unlike personal accounts.
  12. Eventually call up friend’s accountant. Accountant tell me not to VAT register unless the business turnover is greater than 60k

Not sure how clients report that weren’t charged VAT, though nevermind.

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