March 11, 2010

Google forces Adsense users to local currency

by Brian Turner

It’s finally happened – after warning in November last year that Adsense users would be moved to local currency, Google has finally made the issue mandatory.

Since the original notice, Adsense users still had the option to keep recording click value in US dollars. When signing into their Adsense accounts, the option to accept the terms or defer them until later remained available.

However, as of last night the option to defer was no longer available.

The change is part of a major administrative readjustment by Google, which now manages UK operations as Google Ireland as opposed to Google Inc, headquartered in California.

This has raised concerns that Adsense users may be determined by local tax authorities as receiving VAT-ratable income, something that has already plagued small business owners using Google Adwords.

While Google appears to remain confident that only Adsense users in Ireland will be affected by VAT, it remains to be seen whether this is a gamble that pays off.

European rules on VAT can be notoriously complex, and the UK tax man can be destructively tenacious at the best of times – let alone in an economic crisis where the government has built up record debts it needs to pay for through tax hikes.

Even still, despite the concerns, if you are faced with the new updated terms and you still want to see your stats in USD, there’s an easy work around – instead of agreeing to the new terms, simply delete “ceupdate-ireland-wiz” from the appended page URL to leave it as /adsense/ (ie, google.co.uk/adsense/) and click on that – which should take you straight back into dollar-denominated earnings reports.

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