I got a customer from the UAE, so Stripe Tax showed I needed to register for their VAT. When I completed that process, the UAE immediately hit me with a 10,000AED ($2,722) penalty for not registering sooner. Now, if I'd known this would happen I would have just blocked all payments from that country and refunded the customer.
At my scale (hobbyist, $50 MRR) I can't afford international tax lawyers or these massive penalties. A little Googling shows I'll need to register and keep on top of VAT for dozens of countries once I have more customers, which isn't something I can expect to manage solo or afford to pay an expert to do.
I'm thinking of blocking all non-US payments with Stripe Radar, even though I want global customers and prefer to avoid the extra cost for Radar. But other startups seem to manage without this hassle. What am I missing? Are people just not registering for VAT?