January 2015 – where we are and where we’re going

So here we are, with everyone fully back to work after the Christmas and New Year break. And how are things with the new VAT regime?

Well, here’s Cheryl Morgan of Wizard’s Tower Press explaining just how awkward and time-consuming the so-called simple solution of using 3rd party vendors can actually be in reality.

As well as costing us that hefty and non-negotiable slice of income for the privilege. Oh, and let’s not forget that revenues from those third party sites are paid through anything from a month to six weeks after the actual customer has made their purchase. Whereas direct sales mean direct income!

A lot of people remain unaware of all this – which is hardly their fault, given how badly communicating all this has been handled by HMRC. Something that’s making folk sit up and take notice is finding US sites they’ve been happily using are now barring sales to the EU completely.

If you come across someone thinking this is just a knee-jerk response along the lines of ‘no taxation without representation’, here’s a blogpost from Carolyn Jewel explaining how it is IMPOSSIBLE for her to continue selling ebooks anywhere in the EU through Nook.

So while some providers such as Bandcamp have made heroic, eleventh hour efforts to enable their users to comply, and HMRC have shifted their ground over issues such as customer location evidence, it’s still very much apparent that this legislation is fundamentally unfit for purpose.

Accordingly the EU VAT Action team have been discussing our new focus for this new year. You can read the full update here.

In summary – The 2015 campaign aims are:
Short-term: to obtain a fair and reasonable exemption threshold, to apply worldwide

Short-medium-term: to work with the key EU decision-makers to review this legislation from the ground up, reworking it to be practical, fair and reasonable, even for the smallest companies

Long-term: to work at a global level to ensure that the other countries who are bringing in similar place of supply VAT legislation learn from the experiences we are having in the EU and avoid repeating the same mistakes.

Sounds simple, eh? Well, in some ways it is. This is so demonstrably legislation that’s wholly unfit for purpose.

What will make all the difference to the EU VAT Action Team being heard is being able to show just how many people we are speaking for. The EU VAT Action website lists a whole lot of ways you can add your voice.

If we are to see meaningful change at an EU level, we need to have sustained campaigns in as many EU member states as possible. Please do all you can to spread the word to family, friends and colleagues across Europe.

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