Urgent action needed before the EU authorities tell each other how digital VAT is working out fine!

As the dust from the Irish Revenue Fiasco settles, we can now see what Europe’s smallest businesses think of their chances of selling digital products online, six months after the new EU regulations were introduced. Alongside the opinions of the up-and-coming digital entrepreneurs and other companies keen to expand into international online trade, to drive the knowledge economy and generate employment and growth.

From 7th-9th September, the Fiscalis Summit in Dublin will see representatives of every EU Finance Ministry discussing how well or badly implementing these new rules has gone.

So we have until that conference to convince the Finance Ministries that this current system is damaging for all businesses and unworkable for those who simply cannot meet the administrative burdens and costs of compliance necessary to sign up for VATMOSS.

Otherwise there is no realistic prospect of seeing meaningful changes to this destructive legislation before 2017/2018.

We need everyone to act, most particularly those outside the UK, to prove this isn’t just a UK concern, which is something far too many other European finance ministries still believe. They’re still only talking to business organisations and the largest companies who can handle all this far more easily than the rest of us.

They need to hear the specific details of the ways this legislation has hurt your business and the changes you’ve had to make in order to just keep trading. However well the VATMOSS payment processing system itself might work is irrelevant if the administrative burdens and costs of compliance are so damaging.

European finance ministries and the tax officials handling all this need to hear from the sole traders, the one-person companies, the part-time start-ups and side-businesses who have been hardest hit by all this, precisely because the Internet now offers so many opportunities for small-scale, direct e-commerce.

Some of those start-ups could have become the next Apple, Amazon or Google. But as long as these new regulations raise such an off-putting barrier to entry into the digital single market, those giants will continue to dominate.

A longer/detailed version of this post is over on the EU VAT Action website

You can find the contact details for European finance ministries here

And here are the EU VAT contact details for each country’s finance ministries

Last but by no means least, we’ve also navigated PayPal’s rules and regulations to set up a Donate button, for those of you who’d prefer that route for making a contribution to the campaign. All money received will only go on direct expenses. We all continue to donate our time for free – yes, even after ten months of this…

Author: Juliet

Juliet E McKenna is a British fantasy author living in the Cotswolds, UK. Loving history, myth and other worlds since she first learned to read, she has written fifteen epic fantasy novels so far. Her debut, The Thief’s Gamble, began The Tales of Einarinn in 1999, followed by The Aldabreshin Compass sequence, The Chronicles of the Lescari Revolution, and The Hadrumal Crisis trilogy. The Green Man’s Heir was her first modern fantasy inspired by British folklore in 2018, and The Green Man’s Quarry in 2023 is the sixth title in this ongoing series. Her 2023 novel The Cleaving is a female-centred retelling of the story of King Arthur, while her shorter stories include forays into dark fantasy, steampunk and science fiction. She promotes SF&Fantasy by reviewing, by blogging on book trade issues, attending conventions and teaching creative writing. She has served as a judge for major genre awards. As J M Alvey, she has written historical murder mysteries set in ancient Greece.

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