I am an affiliate webmaster in a country that will join the European Union this May. Up until now the commisions I got from foreign sites were treated as export and I did not have to pay value added tax on them. Today I found out that starting May I will have to pay VAT from what I earn. This for me is equal to paying a higher income tax, since I can't ask the sites I am an affiliate of to pay me more. There is no one to transfer the VAT to.
I'm sure there are lots of affiliate webmasters from Western Europe here. Could you tell me how this is treated in your countries? My accountant is looking at the matter, but the more opinions (and ideas) I get the better I think.
Just make sure all your EUropean merchants add VAT to all your commissions. That doesn't mean any higher costs for them as VAT is a item in transit / passing through cost. For merchants coming from outside EU there's no change and no need to pay VAT to your tax authority - your accountant just needs to make sure that they're billed seperately from those amounts containing VAT.
So no big problems for you at all ;)
Don't forget - IANAL but my accountant talks about that quite alot...