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Martin Paul Eve

Professor of Literature, Technology and Publishing at Birkbeck, University of London

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This morning I had to have a call with our accountants that I was somewhat dreading: does Brexit have tax implications for the Open Library of Humanities, a company limited by guarantee with charitable objects (a UK charity)?

An important point about our model: OLH is not a supply. Because, in our model, we do not charge anybody for a direct service provision, our membership scheme is not subject to Value Added Tax (VAT). If we said that only those who pay an APC can publish in OLH journals or if we provided anything directly to institutions, it would be different, and our memberships would be VAT-able. As anybody can read our titles and publish in them without an APC, there is no supply, so there is no VAT.

Brexit does not change this. The activity is not a supply and is therefore not subject to VAT anywhere in the European Union. Janeway hosting services are another matter – and here the reverse-charge mechanism will still apply in the EU.