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.