Monthly Archives: December 2014

A little movement from HMRC to potentially help some businesses. So now we press for more.

Here’s the latest from EU VAT Action . The key development is this –

Basically HMRC has agreed that, for those in the UK below the VAT threshold, you can use the PayPal (or equivalent) country code as your evidence for proof of place of supply until the end of June.This is an enormous achievement, due to the thousands of people who have taken action in this campaign, so thank you!

It’s not perfect. It doesn’t fix the rest of the problems. To be honest (see below) HMRC themselves can’t fix most of those. But it WILL allow more people to keep trading, while we all negotiate a reworking of the rules and a sensible threshold.

Here’s the text:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/vat-supplying-digital-services-to-private-consumers/vat-businesses-supplying-digital-services-to-private-consumers

So this is a move by HMRC which will potentially help some of those digital businesses which might otherwise have to close on 31st December. Because HMRC have finally recognised how massively wrong the assumptions underpinning this legislation have been, and what a horrendous mess they now face. That much is progress.

That said, this tweak is by no means a solution. If it’s meaningless in your particular context, write and say so. Make it quite clear that tinkering around the edges isn’t going to make this headache go away.

EU VAT Action will absolutely continue campaigning until a workable system is devised with thresholds that recognise the levels of turnover below which the administrative burdens of compliance are impossible for a small trader and where the costs for the tax authorities outstrip any potential revenues.

So , please keep on sending your letters and emails to convince the powers that be, in Whitehall and Brussels, that review and revision of this legislation is essential, from the ground up. Every time you see a news story about the UK or EU economy, use that as a prompt for a fresh round of protests!

This past week, we’ve seen newspaper and BBC stories about worse than expected UK deficit figures. So why not contact George Osborne and point out that putting tens of thousands of small traders out of work really isn’t going to help with this, never mind all those rest of the world sellers whose response to VATMOSS is simply to cut off all digital commerce with the UK and EU.

Any UK citizen can do that in his capacity as Chancellor by e-mailing public.enquiries@hm-treasury.gov.uk, telephoning 020 7270 5000 or writing to The Correspondence & Enquiry Unit, HM Treasury, 1 Horse Guards Road, London, SW1A 2HQ.

According to Environment Secretary Liz Truss, the countryside is to drive UK startups with superfast internet through 2015. I really do think she deserves a flurry of letters pointing out precisely how VATMOSS dooms that hope to failure.

To lobby her as Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, please contact Defra directly. Write to: Defra, Nobel House, 17 Smith Square, London, SW1P 3JR Email: defra.helpline@defra.gsi.gov.uk Telephone: 0345 9 33 55 77

We have to create a climate for change as soon as possible in 2015

The latest update from EU VAT Action is here.

It’s long, it’s detailed and it’s important for several reasons which I’ll attempt to summarise here since I know how busy everyone is at the moment. (Then I’ll go and try to salvage something from the wreckage of my own pre-Christmas To Do List…)

We are being heard in the UK. We are finally getting the message through. If that doesn’t seem like much, because there’s no sign of a suspension or anything similar so far, do please take a moment to look back and see how far we’ve come. A month ago HMRC and Treasury were convinced that everything would be fine, no problems at all, so the little people really should stop making such a silly fuss, comply or expect to be fined. That’s where we were in November.

There is no time or scope for substantive changes before January 1st. If this wasn’t all happening over Christmas, if we’d a year or even six months to campaign… well, if wishes were horses, beggars would ride. We are where we are, and yes, we are all as angry about this as you are.

What we can now see are several opportunities for arguing our case in early 2015, here and in Brussels. And the public outcry so far means that EU VAT Action is now assured of a seat at the table for those meetings. Yes, really.

The more outcry there is, here and in Europe, the more weight our words will carry. The more leverage we’ll have. Will we succeed? Who knows but we’re giving it our very, very best shot.

You can help by giving us evidence. If you haven’t already done so, please complete the survey.

Tell as many people about the survey as you can. Especially any contacts you have in Europe.

Write letters to your MEPs and explicitly ask them to lobby Pierre Moscovici for reform on your behalf. Point out that the simplest and easiest solution is a turnover threshold.

All emails should be cc to
Pierre Moscovici – pierre.moscovici@ec.europa.eu
Andrus Ansip – CAB-ANSIP-WEB@ec.europa.eu
Donato Raponi – Donato.Raponi@ec.europa.eu

Use their own words against them.
Mention this OECD report of 18th January, especially Page 18, para 17

Jurisdictions should aim to implement a registration-based collection mechanism for business-to-consumer supplies of services and intangibles by non-resident suppliers, without creating compliance and administrative burdens that are disproportionate to the revenues involved or to the objective of achieving neutrality between domestic and foreign suppliers

Rip holes in Andrus Ansip’s Blog on #EUVAT
Point out how all this makes a mockery of Commission President Juncker’s supposed support for the Digital Single Market.

Make this personal and back that up with hard facts and figures.
If you’re being put out of business, say so. Say what this means by way of lost income and lost investment of time and money.
If you’re only able to carry on with an appalling new administrative burden, say so, and spell out exactly what that’s costing you in additional paid-for services and time.
If your only option is using 3rd party platforms, say so, and let them know what that means in lost revenue.
If you’re moving your digital business base of opeations out of the EU, say so – and point out how easy that is to do with digital services.

Write another letter at the end of January, saying how your month has gone. Another at the end of February, if we haven’t seen any meaningful change by then.

Write to your MPs and now it’s time to make this political.
Make it plain that you expect them to take action to support the smallest business sector.
Copy that letter to the head of the local political party who’s selected and endorsed your MP.
There’s an election coming. Point out how the only people who’ll make political capital out of this will be UKIP and other extremists.

The more voices, the better our chances of being heard.

We’ve made the EU take notice. Now we must make them take action – and fast.

Today’s been another day of long and intense conversations. Clare Josa of EU VAT Action has been on the phone to Brussels on everyone’s behalf, bolstered by information and analysis from any number of informed sources as people work to nail the key issues here.

That Twitterstorm worked. Key EU Commission staffers are now fully aware of this imminent catastrophe and finally realise just how woefully misplaced all that ‘trust’ and ‘confidence’ has been, in 3rd party market places and payment providers taking on all the burden of compliance with all these rules.

So that message has got through. Now we have to convince them to act, and to act fast, to prevent small scale e-commerce traders shutting up shop on December 31st. That means generating the political will in all 28 member states to see the sense in quick agreement on short term solutions to keep people in business, as well as a firm commitment to reviewing the most problematic aspects of this legislation as soon as possible in the New Year.

Once again, this is where you all come in, plus friends, family, colleagues, especially those across the EU. Word of this is beginning to spread in Europe but thus far, still slowly. So the more you can do to boost the signal, the better. We need MEPs and national MPs in all member states finding a surge of email about this in their inboxes tomorrow and on Friday.

To make sure that the key EU players see all that in action, all emails should be cc to
Pierre Moscovici – pierre.moscovici@ec.europa.eu
Andrus Ansip – CAB-ANSIP-WEB@ec.europa.eu
Donato Raponi – Donato.Raponi@ec.europa.eu

Emails should also go to the Treasury in the UK, and the equivalent in other EU member states. If you can find out who the Fiscal Attache to the EU is in your country, that would be ideal. W’re currently looking for that information over at EU VAT Action. For the time being in the UK, send your emails to public.enquiries@hm-treasury.gsi.gov.uk. Please cc your email to David Gauke – gauked@parliament.uk

Explain –

1. The specific problems / challenges that the new EU VAT law has caused for you.
2. What actions are you taking? What is impossible for you to do.
3. What is the financial and human cost of this for you.

If you’re willing to be used as a case study, also cc your letter to euvataction@gmail.com

And once again, thank you for all you’re doing.

Twitterstorm Report & Quick and Simple Briefing

Well, we did it! Tremendous thanks to all of you who took part, and thanks as well to everyone who followed up later on, due to pressure of work etc. #EUVAT rapidly trended and reached #4 ranking worldwide and #3 for the UK. Ten hours later, it was still in the top ten! Over 20,000 tweets.

We can only hope that the EU Commissioners are taking note. This morning folk are reporting bouncebacks from Pierre Moscovici’s email and others, which suggests they’ve had more messages than they have capacity to handle.

Thus far the official responses have been trotting out the now thoroughly discredited waffle about how long we’ve all had, how they trust that issues with data location will be sorted out with payment providers and overall they’re hopeful that the administrative burden won’t prove too much…

Well, here’s the latest on what payment providers and some key marketplaces are currently saying. Essentially it’s ‘not my problem, pal…’

So this response from the authorities has pretty much had the effect of chucking a bucket of petrol on an already nicely blazing fire.

You can read Andrus Ansip’s official blogpost here. One can only hope he’s reading the comments and paying serious attention. Feel free to add your own thoughts!

This is the official response from EU Taxation and Customs. If you use Twitter, you can let them know what you think of that via https://twitter.com/EU_Taxud

As always, keep up the letters. Over at EU VAT Action and on the Facebook group Digital VAT 2015 we are starting to see responses from MPs and MEPs who are genuinely taking note of what they’re being told, and realising that there is serious cause for concern.

Europe is finally waking up to the problem, with newspaper stories online yesterday in Germany, Austria, Italy and Romania. If you have friends,family or colleagues in other EU states, do flag this up to them.

We’re also seeing more stories in the UK media. A particularly excoriating piece in the Telegraph is attracting a lot of notice.

As more and more people are becoming aware of this, the need for a quick and simple briefing on what can be a tediously complex topci becomes more apparent. So I’ll post one here, in this post and also as a separate page, for you to link to, should that be useful.

EU VAT Changes on Digital Selling January 2015 – The Problems

21st century digital enterprise means it’s possible to turn a good idea into a digital product and take it to a global marketplace by investing time instead of money.

Some of today’s most successful enterprises have started this way but this ingenuity and innovation will be stifled by EU VAT regulations being introduced in January 2015.

From their first digital sale of a knitting pattern, craft, self-help or business handbook, a new game or commercial software and many more products , a fledgling business run from a laptop on a kitchen table will be subject to the same new regulations as an international billion-dollar corporation.

They must establish their customer’s location and charge and administer VAT according to each EU country’s rates. They must also keep customer records securely for ten years, registering with the ICO.

This is impossible using the software and payment systems these smallest businesses rely on.

It doesn’t matter how simple HMRC claims their online MOSS system to handle all this might be, when the first steps towards independently complying are not just difficult but impossible.

Telling digital entrepreneurs to avoid complications by using third-party vendors is forcing them to give away a substantial percentage of their profits from the very start.

That’s when the third-party vendors accept their liability. Many are simply refusing to accept the responsibility.

Advising them to pay for software packages to handle the reporting and recording issues completely misses the point of starting up a digital business without any start-up cash.

Thus far, payment providers are showing no signs of adapting their free systems to accomodate this. Instead they’re simply offering sellers outside the EU the option to block sales into the UK and Europe.

The EU VAT Action Team is determined to make the UK Government and EU Commission realise how this will devastate the growth of e-commerce across Europe.

Small businesses need –

• A minimum turnover threshold to allow a business to grow big enough to afford the costs of such administrative overheads.

• A workable system of establishing and recording a customer’s location.

The authorities who devised these regulations will only act if they are convinced of the true scale of the problem they’ve created. This means everyone who’s affected needs to act.

• Write to your MP, MEPs and other legislative assembly members.

• Sign our new EU petition.

• Join the social media campaign on Twitter and Facebook.

• Tell organisations representing your particular business and interests know what’s going on.

• Show your support for commonsense changes whenever you see a news story discuss this problem.

#EUVAT Twitterstorm – suggested tweets for anyone short on time.

A Twitterstorm is a good tactic but less than convenient for those of you in full time jobs – as many small scale digital traders are, and for those who the 140 character limit is more of a hobble than a spur.

So here are a few suggestions – and feel free to use them later today and tomorrow, not just during the designated hour.

Pick and mix, adapt etc, to suit your particular concerns.

And if you have the language skills to translate any of them, that would be great!

@pierremoscovici digital #EUVAT will close 1000s of smallest businesses in UK & stop others even starting across Europe

@GOettingerEU digital #EUVAT will close 1000s of smallest businesses in UK & stop others even starting across Europe

@Ansip_EU digital #EUVAT will close 1000s of smallest businesses in UK & stop others even starting across Europe

@DavidGauke digital #EUVAT will close 1000s of smallest businesses & stop others even starting #VATMOSS

@pierremoscovici traders relying on small-scale ecommerce to stay off benefits will become a burden on their home states once again. #EUVAT

@GOettingerEU traders relying on small-scale ecommerce to stay off benefits will become a burden on their home states once again. #EUVAT

@Ansip_EU traders relying on small-scale ecommerce to stay off benefits will become a burden on their home states once again. #EUVAT

@DavidGauke traders relying on small-scale ecommerce to stay off benefits will become a burden on their home states once again. #EUVAT

@pierremoscovici #EUVAT stifling grass roots innovation & entrepreneurs will delay European Union economic recovery still further.

@GOettingerEU #EUVAT stifling grass roots innovation & entrepreneurs will delay European Union economic recovery still further.

@Ansip_EU #EUVAT stifling grass roots innovation & entrepreneurs will delay European Union economic recovery still further.

@DavidGauke #EUVAT stifling grass roots innovation & entrepreneurs will delay European Union economic recovery still further.

@pierremoscovici digital #EUVAT rules based on 2008 definitions & decisions are simply no longer fit for purpose in 2014

@GOettingerEU digital #EUVAT rules based on 2008 definitions & decisions are simply no longer fit for purpose in 2014

@DavidGauke digital #EUVAT rules based on 2008 definitions & decisions are simply no longer fit for purpose in 2014

@Ansip_EU digital #EUVAT rules based on 2008 definitions & decisions are simply no longer fit for purpose in 2014

@pierremoscovici US based payment providers are NOT adapting to #EUVAT, they’re offering ways to shut out EU trade instead.

@GOettingerEU US based payment providers are NOT adapting to #EUVAT, they’re offering ways to shut out EU trade instead.

@Ansip_EU US based payment providers are NOT adapting to #EUVAT, they’re offering ways to shut out EU trade instead.

@DavidGauke US based payment providers are NOT adapting to #EUVAT, they’re offering ways to shut out EU trade instead

@pierremoscovici 3rd party marketplaces & others DO NOT accept liability for #EUVAT. See how Google Hangouts just changed their terms

@GOettingerEU 3rd party marketplaces & others DO NOT accept liability for #EUVAT. See how Google Hangouts just changed their terms

@Ansip_EU 3rd party marketplaces & others DO NOT accept liability for #EUVAT. See how Google Hangouts just changed their terms

@DavidGauke 3rd party marketplaces & others DO NOT accept liability for #EUVAT. See how Google Hangouts just changed their terms

@pierremoscovici digital economy is people investing time & knowledge, not money they don’t have. Cost & admin of #EUVAT will crush this.

@GOettingerEU digital economy is people investing time & knowledge, not money they don’t have. Cost & admin of #EUVAT will crush this.

@Ansip_EU digital economy is people investing time & knowledge, not money they don’t have. Cost & admin of #EUVAT will crush this.

@DavidGauke digital economy is people investing time & knowledge, not money they don’t have. Cost & admin of #EUVAT will crush this.

@pierremoscovici Only reason #EUVAT isn’t a live issue in Europe yet is people don’t know/accountants wrongly advising thresholds remain.

@GOettingerEU Only reason #EUVAT isn’t a live issue in Europe yet is people don’t know/accountants wrongly advising thresholds remain.

@Ansip_EU Only reason #EUVAT isn’t a live issue in Europe yet is people don’t know/accountants wrongly advising thresholds remain.

@DavidGauke Only reason #EUVAT isn’t a live issue in Europe yet is people don’t know/accountants wrongly advising thresholds remain.

@pierremoscovici PLEASE suspend #EUVAT implementation to allow for review & adjustment to make it fit for 2014 & future ecommerce.

@GOettingerEU PLEASE suspend #EUVAT implementation to allow for review & adjustment to make it fit for 2014 & future ecommerce.

@Ansip_EU PLEASE suspend #EUVAT implementation to allow for review & adjustment to make it fit for 2014 & future ecommerce.

@DavidGauke PLEASE suspend #EUVAT implementation to allow for review & adjustment to make it fit for 2014 & future ecommerce.

@pierremoscovici Sale of a digital file in transaction between 2 individuals is not service to equal TV, mobile phones, online games #EUVAT

@GOettingerEU Sale of a digital file in transaction between 2 individuals is not service to equal TV, mobile phones, online games #EUVAT

@Ansip_EU Sale of a digital file in transaction between 2 individuals is not service to equal TV, mobile phones, online games #EUVAT

@DavidGauke Sale of a digital file in transaction between 2 individuals is not service to equal TV, mobile phones, online games #EUVAT

@pierremoscovici #EUVAT to make Amazon pay fair taxes will give them a stranglehold on ebooks. Not too bad for Amazon. Dreadful for authors.

@GOettingerEU #EUVAT to make Amazon pay fair taxes will give them a stranglehold on ebooks. Not too bad for Amazon. Dreadful for authors.

@Ansip_EU #EUVAT to make Amazon pay fair taxes will give them a stranglehold on ebooks. Not too bad for Amazon. Dreadful for authors.

@DavidGauke #EUVAT to make Amazon pay fair taxes will give them a stranglehold on ebooks. Not too bad for Amazon. Dreadful for authors.

@pierremoscovici EU olive oil regs were suspended because small traders couldn’t afford to comply, benefiting big corporations who could.

@GOettingerEU EU olive oil regs were suspended because small traders couldn’t afford to comply, benefiting big corporations who could #EUVAT

@Ansip_EU EU olive oil regs were suspended because small traders couldn’t afford to comply, benefiting big corporations who could #EUVAT

@DavidGauke EU olive oil regs were suspended because small traders couldn’t afford to comply, benefiting big corporations who could #EUVAT

@pierremoscovici #EUVAT suspension & review will prove EU Commission is responsive. Otherwise this will be a gift for right-wing extremists

@GOettingerEU #EUVAT suspension & review will prove EU Commission is responsive. Otherwise this will be a gift for right-wing extremists

@Ansip_EU #EUVAT suspension & review will prove EU Commission is responsive. Otherwise this will be a gift for right-wing extremists

@DavidGauke #EUVAT suspension & review will prove EU Commission is responsive. Otherwise this will be a gift for right-wing extremists

Twitterstorm ahead – EU VAT Action Tuesday 16th December 10am GMT/11am CET

The EU VAT Action Team is organising another Twitterstorm to bring more attention to this issue and to give the small business community a voice.

Please make yourselves heard on Tuesday 16th December from 10am GMT/11am CET using the hashtag #EUVAT. For those of you in other time zones, for whom this isn’t possible, feel free to join in through the day whenever you get a moment!

We need to convince the bureaucrats who wrote this legislation that there’s a massive gap in their understanding of how eCommerce works and that the implementation of these new laws will impact the tiniest and most vulnerable businesses all over the world.

This may seem like a UK problem but that’s merely because of the English language’s role in e-commerce and the UK’s regulatory framework promoting such start-ups. It is a European problem because these same regulations will stop any other countries’ initiatives towards building their digital economy before they even get started.

It’s going to hit customers too. Payment providers Selz and SendOwl are already rolling out the option to exclude EU customers if you use their systems. So much for the world wide web and no borders or barriers in cyberspace.

Accounts which will be targeted as part of the Twitterstorm include:
https://twitter.com/pierremoscovici -Pierre Moscovici Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs, Taxation and Customs
https://twitter.com/GoettingerEU – Günther Oettinger, EU Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society
https://twitter.com/Ansip_EU – European Commission Vice-President for the #DigitalSingleMarket.

For the UK in particular, https://twitter.com/DavidGauke – David Gauke – MP for South West Hertfordshire and Financial Secretary to the Treasury.

He’s central to any UK decision to suspend the implementation of these new rules, which can still be done, citing the unforeseen impact on a particular, and vulnerable, business sector and in order to re-examine the changes in online commerce since the foundations of this regulations were set down in 2008.

And feel free to contact these particular accounts at any other time!

Meantime, the EU VAT Action Team has been conducting a EU-wide quantitative research survey to assess the financial and human impact of the new legislation on micro businesses and sole traders. Thousands of small business owners have responded already. The initial results are shocking:

• Only 4% expect to be able to comply with the legislation in time.
• 60% of affected businesses sell direct to their customers, rather than through third party platforms such as Amazon or the App Store.
• 45% are going to have to make major changes to their business this month – either removing all EU VAT-liable digital products from sale or excluding EU customers altogether.
• 50% believe they won’t be able to comply, at any stage.
• 20% will be putting up their prices to consumers, to cover the additional VAT and the administration / new software costs.
• Consumers will be hit by price rises and a reduction in choice, as many sellers will restrict the countries they sell to and stop their digital downloads.
• 10% are going to be closing their business completely in less than three weeks’ time.

If you’re going to be badly affected and are willing to go on record as a case study click here.

If you haven’t yet had a chance to do the short and anonymous survey please click through and do so.

Sign the EU Petition – and encourage friends and family to do the same.

This really is an emergency now. Everything and anything you can do to help is invaluable.

How HMRC’s knowledge gap over digital commerce has created the abyss we’re all falling into. An actual example.

What’s becoming more and more apparent is how these new EU VAT rules on cross-border digital sales are based on thinking that’s fatally behind the times when it comes to online life. Well, the core definitions were agreed in 2008. Think how much has changed since? Back then, asking ‘do you store your selfies in the cloud?’ would have been meaningless!

I’ve been raising the issues relating to ebooks and why losing the option of direct sales is a real problem for me, for readers and for small and specialist publishers like Wizard’s Tower Press – and any number of others I could list. Last week I got back a message from an HMRC contact saying he had the solution! I needed to contact ThisCompany and everything would be fine!

No, I’m not going to name names. HMRC Guy was genuinely trying to help. This is the single most worrying thing, because he genuinely thought he had found me an answer…

I checked out ThisCompany – and again, I’m not going to name names because they don’t deserve to have the Internet fall on their heads either.

They’re a web-services company who do all sorts of things. If you have a whole load of content, they will absolutely turn it into an ebook for you, and their website helpfully takes you by the hand and explains all those tricky, scary, terms that might be baffling you, like epub and mobi and DRM, if you have NOT THE FIRST CLUE what you’re dealing with.

Yes, they will also put you together a nice website, with a VATMOSS compliant sales facility, and sell your shiny new ebook online through their own webstore. If you have NOT THE FIRST CLUE how to go about doing any of those things yourself.

Their highly competitive web solutions start from as little as £495!

Let’s analyse what this says about the thinking behind this fiasco. First and foremost it completely misses the point that 21st century digital enterprise means investing time instead of money to start a business. These days a single person can turn a good idea into a digital product and take it to a global marketplace using freely available computer resources and the marketing reach of social media and online interest groups.

I’m hardly technically minded and I don’t need to pay anyone to write a website for me. I put my very first site together in around 2000, using whatever that free Microsoft thingy was – Front Page? Then I learned some basic HTML programming and coded my own pages. It honestly wasn’t that hard and paying for domain registration and hosting was cheap enough. What doing that myself took was time, not money. In the decade since, online life’s got so much easier, with blogs and any number of quick and easy facilities available. I put this little site together in about an hour on Sunday afternoon!

I don’t need to pay anyone to put an ebook together for me. That’s perfectly doable too, if I’m prepared to spend the time coding the files once I’ve got a clean text. And that’s mobi and epub. Creating a pdf is two clicks in most software these days?

As it happens, I’ve chosen to work with Wizard’s Tower Press and Alchemy ePress to create my ebooks. I apply the universal equation of life to such things – Money = Time + Convenience. It’s more efficient and effective for me to spend my time writing and contract out the technical side to people who can do those things faster and more accurately than me, in return for their share of the revenue. Not for a whole load of money up front.

Five hundred quid is a London civil servant’s idea of an easy and affordable solution, is it? No, sorry, if I’m going to spend that sort of money on preparing my backlist ebooks (and I do), I’ll be paying to commission or to license cover art. If I’m preparing new, original fiction then that needs professional copy-editing. £500 would go a long way to covering either of those essential costs. I’m not about to pay for services I simply do not need in order to get a VATMOSS compliant sales portal. Not when spending that money means I won’t have the funds I need to make the ebooks fit for publication in the first place.

This also completely misses the point that I have a contract with Wizard’s Tower Press. We may be working from home but we’re professional businesswomen and that’s how you do things professionally. I’m not about to tear that up and set up some piddling solo operation. I want to work with Wizard’s Tower Press for all the benefits I get from the marketing and distribution that’s another part of their contribution, earning them a justified share in the revenue. I don’t want to be running a solo publishing operation myself. I’m a writer. I write.

Besides, I know and trust Cheryl, personally and professionally. Between us we know our industry and our markets thoroughly. I’m not going to trash all that and turn everything over to some completely unknown firm, who I’m sure are perfectly competent but who are clearly used to dealing with folk who have NOT THE FIRST CLUE about online life, let alone the arcane mysteries of SF and Fantasy…

This level of understanding of ecommerce has underpinned the system which we’ve had dropped on our heads. The knowledge gap – well, it’s more of an abyss, isn’t it?

So we have to make that clear. If you haven’t already completed the EU VAT Action survey, please take a couple of minutes to do that – it’s completely anonymous.