The latest VATMOSS update & how to help EU VAT Action towards still vital goals

The Telegraph (and other papers) have been triumphantly proclaiming victory in the VATMOSS fight. The EU has conceded that the legislation needs revising to include a threshold. Hurrah!

Well, as the saying goes, up to a point…

Securing this sort of solid, on-the-record commitment by both the European Commission and the UK Government to researching and enacting such revision as soon as possible is undoubtedly a major win for the EU VAT Action campaign. A year ago they were all saying there was no need for any such thing, everything would be fine and anyway, nothing can be done if it wasn’t.

But we still won’t see any long-term relief for the thousands upon thousands of businesses hit by this for another two years – maybe eighteen months at very, very best. Which means we still need vital interim suspension or some other easement to stop the ongoing damage being done to the grassroots digital economy.

This could come from Westminster – and yes, we know it’s asking a lot but we’re asking on the basis of informed, expert opinions by legal and academic authorities.

Not least because the deficiencies in the consultation process (laid bare here) before all this was brought in are so appalling that could be the basis of a legal challenge – if any of us had the money to instruct the appropriate lawyers…

So please feel free to write more letters to your MPs and MEPs stressing just how and why we need to see action now.

Interim relief could come from Brussels, especially if as many people as possible reply to the current consultation on modernising VAT for cross-border ecommerce. If this affects you at all, please do so – no questions are compulsory and there are plenty of boxes for you to go into detail about your problems, and most likely, why a lot of the questions being asked are in themselves inappropriate, revealing dangerous flaws in the understanding of the new problems.

Please complete the survey if you’re not yet a digital seller but only deal in physical products. Although ‘plans to roll this out to physical sales in 2016’ have been revised to ‘plans to discuss plans to roll this out in 2016’, it’s still vital that the law makers understand the needs and concerns of those posting actual parcels who will be affected by any extension of what’s currently still such a mess.

As part of this consultation process, EU VAT Action Team members (specifically me and Clare Josa) are off to Brussels again next week. Then we’ll have another trip in November, focused on meetings with cross-border, cross-party groups of MEPs, looking to nail the misapprehension that this is only a UK problem.

As before we’re having to fund all this ourselves, at time of writing. The previous Just Giving appeal was focused on getting Clare Josa to the Fiscalis Summit in Dublin and hoping to fund one further trip to Brussels. Now that we’re looking at two Brussels trips plus more meetings in London to make our case up to ministerial level, any and all donations to the campaign fund via PayPal will be most gratefully received, however small those might be.

(If anyone wants to discuss other methods of making a contribution, email me as per the information on my Contact page. And yes, I am very well aware how generous the SFF community has already been – we are extremely, profoundly grateful.)





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