Once again, Clare Josa has done sterling work on behalf of us all. She’s written a comprehensive report on last week’s meeting (I did help by sharing my notes…) and so I’ll link to that below rather than duplicate effort. Because my efforts this weekend are on spreading awareness of this issue to those likely to be affected, and writing letters/emails to elected representatives.
Just at the moment, until we get Wednesday’s update on events last Friday in Brussels, that’s the single most important thing you can all do. Let your family and friends know, and especially alert anyone else running small business that’s going to be affected. Everyone can write letter about this; business and customer alike.
If you know people in other EU states, please flag this up to them as well. It’s a Europe-wide issue even if at the moment, it’s of particular concern in the UK, since we’re ahead of most countries in e-commerce, on account of the English language’s dominance and the way regulations here make it easier to start a business. What it’s going to mean for Europe is a massive set-back for any attempts to catch up with us in digital business.
This principle of taxation based on customer location rather than the supplier’s isn’t going to go away. It’s going to be rolled out to physical goods sold cross-border as well in a few years. Right here, right now, is our chance to help get a system in place that’s workable for everyone doing business at the smallest scale, not just companies big enough to pay for bespoke software and other resources needed to comply with the current regulations.
Yes, the timing’s dreadful; both in having to do this at such short notice and also at a time of year when we’re all so busy anyway. I was supposed to be making a Christmas cake this weekend… but I reckon this will be time well spent.