A VATMOSS update. What? Did you think we’d given up?

Not a bit of it. Throughout 2016, whenever we’ve been told ‘there should be some news by such-and-such-a-month’ we’ve noted that in our diaries, and followed up accordingly. No one has been left in any doubt that we’re not going to let this drop, in the nicest possible way.

We’ve stayed in touch with our contacts in Whitehall and Brussels, and with the MEPs and their teams who’ve been working with us – most notably Catherine Bearder (Lib Dem), Anneliese Dodds (Lab) and Vicky Ford (Con). This has continued to be a cross-party/non-partisan effort, and we are tremendously grateful to them all.

Now we have real and definite progress to report! The proposed threshold & simplifications for EU VAT have been announced. This is a solid proposal backed by the key decision makers in the EU.

In summary – businesses exporting below €10k of digital sales into the EU (excluding their home country sales) will apply their home country VAT rules, not digital VAT. Those above that but with sales below €100k will be eligible for a ‘soft landing’ of just one piece of data, to prove the customer’s location.

This will help many thousands of micro businesses to continue – or resume – trading, without having to move to 3rd party platforms (costing them 30% or more in commission) or hampering their prospects with geo-blocking.

There’s more detail over at the EU VAT Action website, along with links to the full text of the proposal and the EU Commission Press Release.

So are we done? No, not quite yet. This is a proposal and now needs to become law. There are also some issues in the fine detail that need addressing, as well as questions about what happens in the interim. You may rest assured that we’re tackling those.

For now? We celebrate! Bear in mind that two years ago, those self-employed women and solo entrepreneurs who were worst affected by this, who’d never even been consulted, were told categorically by a government minister and senior officials from HMRC, HM Treasury, and the European Commission, that the VATMOSS rules were now set in stone and there was no possibility of changing them because they had been agreed across the EU, as implemented on 1st January 2015. Business organisations and pundits told us the same.

We refused to accept this. We got busy. You all got busy. Every single person who wrote a letter to their MP, their MEPs, their Treasury or Finance Ministry, who signed online petitions, wrote blogposts and joined in the Twitter-storms contributed to this success. Everyone who contributed to the crowdfunding which enabled us to send representatives to Brussels, to Dublin and to lobby key officials. All those with expert knowledge of tax, finance and political campaigning who shared their advice and insights with us. We couldn’t have done this without you.

So keep your eyes open for opportunities to help us next year, so we can get this done and dusted once and for all, as swiftly as possible!

7 comments

  1. Congratulations! I missed this originally, due mostly to the people I was reading not mentioning it, or I would have joined in more.

    Incidentally, did you know that 100 people writing to their MPs on $subject is more effective than sending a 10_000 signature on the subject to the relevant Minister?

    1. very much so – and hard copy letters that legally have to be opened, logged and replied to, taking up time, stationery and stamps, have far more impact than email which can and will be ignored by MPs. Unlike MEPs who will take email seriously. If they’re serious MEPs obviously. It’s been very interesting to learn the most effective methods of campaigning over this past two years.

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