For a SF and Fantasy novelist, I’m spending a remarkable amount of time being an activist at the moment. Well, it needs doing.
You’ll recall I met David Cameron, the UK Prime Minister to discuss the problems for small businesses created by the new EU digital VAT regulations on cross border sales? As a direct result of that meeting, the PM’s office set up a meeting for Clare Josa and me, on behalf of the EU VAT Action Team, with his special adviser Daniel Korski of the No.10 Policy Unit.
To summarise, the UK Government now realises just what horrendous difficulties these new regulations have created. Countries creating wonderful MOSS systems to handle collecting the new taxes and paying them to each other is not the slightest use to the digital sellers whose businesses are now so horribly complicated by the need to locate and appropriately tax their customers at the initial point of sale.
They’ve also acknowledged how vital it will be to have end-user input into any discussions about any proposed technical or other implementation solutions. We’re already following up on that.
The people we need to convince now are the EU Commission and national finance ministries across Europe. Okay then…
EU VAT Action will be rolling out assorted calls to action with a particular focus on Europe. Something we particularly need is as many non-UK businesses as possible completing our survey. We’re currently working on making the survey available in other languages.
The first opportunity we have to make ourselves heard is a Twitter Q&A session with Andrus Ansip on Monday 23rd February. He’s the EU Commissioner for the Digital Single Market – which is of course being wrecked by all this. His blogpost is here and EU VAT Action will be offering some ideas for effective participation.
I’ve also met with Catherine Bearder MEP this week, and spent an extremely productive hour and a half going over all the key issues with her and getting her invaluable input on how best to get our voices heard in Europe. Subject to final confirmation, key EU VAT Action team players will be heading for Brussels in the week commencing 16th March.
So we’re definitely making progress. Keep backing us up and we’ll make more!