Within the EU there is a sales TAX which is in the UK called VAT. In the UK it applies to most things with the exception of books, food, medicines and children's clothing. It is a cumbersome tax and all businesses with a turnover of over £81,000 (turnover, not profit) have to charge it and deal with the paperwork involved.
There is a move afoot for anyone selling digital products to any member state that they will have to register and charge VAT to the customer even if the tax involved is only £1. Effectively this means if I put out a pattern and just one person in an EU country (not the UK) bought one of my patterns I would have to register for VAT. This would mean filling in the forms every three months, (and possibly hiring an accountant to do it). And I would have to do it for each country involved. There would be a scheme where a government agency would deal with it but I would then have to register myself as a VAT trader (not required for any other business with less than an £81,000 turnover). If you sell a pattern online you have no way to stop people in EU countries purchasing.
So what would you do? You just wouldn't publish any patterns or designs in digital format, it would not be worth the hassle for the very small profit involved.
Please sign this petition. It will hopefully make the government listen to how silly this is for micro businesses.
You can read more about it here.
And if you have been thinking about buying a pattern, book etc in digital format from a British writer or designer, it might just be a good idea to do it now.