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.


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