Tag Archives: Twitterstorm

Update on how to tell EU Commissioner Andrus Ansip your new digital trading difficulties.

EU Commissioner Andrus Ansip, who’s responsible for European Digital Single Market initiatives, is one of the key people we need to convince of the damage being done by the new requirements to tax digital products at place of consumption, not supply.

He’s starting to realise there’s an issue here… and has arranged this Twitter chat. for Monday morning, 23rd February.

Over on the EU VAT Action website, we’ve posted details on how to make the best of this opportunity.

Which is all very well, if you’re on Twitter, live in the same time zone, and not in paid employment at that time, because you run your digital business during your evenings and weekends…

well, firstly, if any of those barriers mean you won’t be able to participate, drop me a line with what you want to say, and I will do so on your behalf. You can also contribute via Facebook if you wish – details on that EU VAT Action update.

Secondly, EU VAT Action is having another online action drive from 5pm GMT on Monday. We really, really need to alert other European finance ministries and tax authorities to the problems all this has created, so we’ve found email and contact details for as many of them as we could, to help people target their communications most effectively.

They need to know how #EUVAT is hurting your business. The more hard data and detail you can give, the better.

They need to know why third-party platforms and tech solutions aren’t the answer. Tell them how much those would cost you – and how they don’t even necessarily help.

They need to know digital microbusiness needs a threshold specifically, and only, in relation to this law, below which they’re exempt from this particular legislation only.

Below that threshold each country’s domestic VAT rules for small businesses would continue to apply, so member states’ national sovereignty over taxation would be untouched.

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Twitterstorm Report & Quick and Simple Briefing

Well, we did it! Tremendous thanks to all of you who took part, and thanks as well to everyone who followed up later on, due to pressure of work etc. #EUVAT rapidly trended and reached #4 ranking worldwide and #3 for the UK. Ten hours later, it was still in the top ten! Over 20,000 tweets.

We can only hope that the EU Commissioners are taking note. This morning folk are reporting bouncebacks from Pierre Moscovici’s email and others, which suggests they’ve had more messages than they have capacity to handle.

Thus far the official responses have been trotting out the now thoroughly discredited waffle about how long we’ve all had, how they trust that issues with data location will be sorted out with payment providers and overall they’re hopeful that the administrative burden won’t prove too much…

Well, here’s the latest on what payment providers and some key marketplaces are currently saying. Essentially it’s ‘not my problem, pal…’

So this response from the authorities has pretty much had the effect of chucking a bucket of petrol on an already nicely blazing fire.

You can read Andrus Ansip’s official blogpost here. One can only hope he’s reading the comments and paying serious attention. Feel free to add your own thoughts!

This is the official response from EU Taxation and Customs. If you use Twitter, you can let them know what you think of that via https://twitter.com/EU_Taxud

As always, keep up the letters. Over at EU VAT Action and on the Facebook group Digital VAT 2015 we are starting to see responses from MPs and MEPs who are genuinely taking note of what they’re being told, and realising that there is serious cause for concern.

Europe is finally waking up to the problem, with newspaper stories online yesterday in Germany, Austria, Italy and Romania. If you have friends,family or colleagues in other EU states, do flag this up to them.

We’re also seeing more stories in the UK media. A particularly excoriating piece in the Telegraph is attracting a lot of notice.

As more and more people are becoming aware of this, the need for a quick and simple briefing on what can be a tediously complex topci becomes more apparent. So I’ll post one here, in this post and also as a separate page, for you to link to, should that be useful.

EU VAT Changes on Digital Selling January 2015 – The Problems

21st century digital enterprise means it’s possible to turn a good idea into a digital product and take it to a global marketplace by investing time instead of money.

Some of today’s most successful enterprises have started this way but this ingenuity and innovation will be stifled by EU VAT regulations being introduced in January 2015.

From their first digital sale of a knitting pattern, craft, self-help or business handbook, a new game or commercial software and many more products , a fledgling business run from a laptop on a kitchen table will be subject to the same new regulations as an international billion-dollar corporation.

They must establish their customer’s location and charge and administer VAT according to each EU country’s rates. They must also keep customer records securely for ten years, registering with the ICO.

This is impossible using the software and payment systems these smallest businesses rely on.

It doesn’t matter how simple HMRC claims their online MOSS system to handle all this might be, when the first steps towards independently complying are not just difficult but impossible.

Telling digital entrepreneurs to avoid complications by using third-party vendors is forcing them to give away a substantial percentage of their profits from the very start.

That’s when the third-party vendors accept their liability. Many are simply refusing to accept the responsibility.

Advising them to pay for software packages to handle the reporting and recording issues completely misses the point of starting up a digital business without any start-up cash.

Thus far, payment providers are showing no signs of adapting their free systems to accomodate this. Instead they’re simply offering sellers outside the EU the option to block sales into the UK and Europe.

The EU VAT Action Team is determined to make the UK Government and EU Commission realise how this will devastate the growth of e-commerce across Europe.

Small businesses need –

• A minimum turnover threshold to allow a business to grow big enough to afford the costs of such administrative overheads.

• A workable system of establishing and recording a customer’s location.

The authorities who devised these regulations will only act if they are convinced of the true scale of the problem they’ve created. This means everyone who’s affected needs to act.

• Write to your MP, MEPs and other legislative assembly members.

• Sign our new EU petition.

• Join the social media campaign on Twitter and Facebook.

• Tell organisations representing your particular business and interests know what’s going on.

• Show your support for commonsense changes whenever you see a news story discuss this problem.

#EUVAT Twitterstorm – suggested tweets for anyone short on time.

A Twitterstorm is a good tactic but less than convenient for those of you in full time jobs – as many small scale digital traders are, and for those who the 140 character limit is more of a hobble than a spur.

So here are a few suggestions – and feel free to use them later today and tomorrow, not just during the designated hour.

Pick and mix, adapt etc, to suit your particular concerns.

And if you have the language skills to translate any of them, that would be great!

@pierremoscovici digital #EUVAT will close 1000s of smallest businesses in UK & stop others even starting across Europe

@GOettingerEU digital #EUVAT will close 1000s of smallest businesses in UK & stop others even starting across Europe

@Ansip_EU digital #EUVAT will close 1000s of smallest businesses in UK & stop others even starting across Europe

@DavidGauke digital #EUVAT will close 1000s of smallest businesses & stop others even starting #VATMOSS

@pierremoscovici traders relying on small-scale ecommerce to stay off benefits will become a burden on their home states once again. #EUVAT

@GOettingerEU traders relying on small-scale ecommerce to stay off benefits will become a burden on their home states once again. #EUVAT

@Ansip_EU traders relying on small-scale ecommerce to stay off benefits will become a burden on their home states once again. #EUVAT

@DavidGauke traders relying on small-scale ecommerce to stay off benefits will become a burden on their home states once again. #EUVAT

@pierremoscovici #EUVAT stifling grass roots innovation & entrepreneurs will delay European Union economic recovery still further.

@GOettingerEU #EUVAT stifling grass roots innovation & entrepreneurs will delay European Union economic recovery still further.

@Ansip_EU #EUVAT stifling grass roots innovation & entrepreneurs will delay European Union economic recovery still further.

@DavidGauke #EUVAT stifling grass roots innovation & entrepreneurs will delay European Union economic recovery still further.

@pierremoscovici digital #EUVAT rules based on 2008 definitions & decisions are simply no longer fit for purpose in 2014

@GOettingerEU digital #EUVAT rules based on 2008 definitions & decisions are simply no longer fit for purpose in 2014

@DavidGauke digital #EUVAT rules based on 2008 definitions & decisions are simply no longer fit for purpose in 2014

@Ansip_EU digital #EUVAT rules based on 2008 definitions & decisions are simply no longer fit for purpose in 2014

@pierremoscovici US based payment providers are NOT adapting to #EUVAT, they’re offering ways to shut out EU trade instead.

@GOettingerEU US based payment providers are NOT adapting to #EUVAT, they’re offering ways to shut out EU trade instead.

@Ansip_EU US based payment providers are NOT adapting to #EUVAT, they’re offering ways to shut out EU trade instead.

@DavidGauke US based payment providers are NOT adapting to #EUVAT, they’re offering ways to shut out EU trade instead

@pierremoscovici 3rd party marketplaces & others DO NOT accept liability for #EUVAT. See how Google Hangouts just changed their terms

@GOettingerEU 3rd party marketplaces & others DO NOT accept liability for #EUVAT. See how Google Hangouts just changed their terms

@Ansip_EU 3rd party marketplaces & others DO NOT accept liability for #EUVAT. See how Google Hangouts just changed their terms

@DavidGauke 3rd party marketplaces & others DO NOT accept liability for #EUVAT. See how Google Hangouts just changed their terms

@pierremoscovici digital economy is people investing time & knowledge, not money they don’t have. Cost & admin of #EUVAT will crush this.

@GOettingerEU digital economy is people investing time & knowledge, not money they don’t have. Cost & admin of #EUVAT will crush this.

@Ansip_EU digital economy is people investing time & knowledge, not money they don’t have. Cost & admin of #EUVAT will crush this.

@DavidGauke digital economy is people investing time & knowledge, not money they don’t have. Cost & admin of #EUVAT will crush this.

@pierremoscovici Only reason #EUVAT isn’t a live issue in Europe yet is people don’t know/accountants wrongly advising thresholds remain.

@GOettingerEU Only reason #EUVAT isn’t a live issue in Europe yet is people don’t know/accountants wrongly advising thresholds remain.

@Ansip_EU Only reason #EUVAT isn’t a live issue in Europe yet is people don’t know/accountants wrongly advising thresholds remain.

@DavidGauke Only reason #EUVAT isn’t a live issue in Europe yet is people don’t know/accountants wrongly advising thresholds remain.

@pierremoscovici PLEASE suspend #EUVAT implementation to allow for review & adjustment to make it fit for 2014 & future ecommerce.

@GOettingerEU PLEASE suspend #EUVAT implementation to allow for review & adjustment to make it fit for 2014 & future ecommerce.

@Ansip_EU PLEASE suspend #EUVAT implementation to allow for review & adjustment to make it fit for 2014 & future ecommerce.

@DavidGauke PLEASE suspend #EUVAT implementation to allow for review & adjustment to make it fit for 2014 & future ecommerce.

@pierremoscovici Sale of a digital file in transaction between 2 individuals is not service to equal TV, mobile phones, online games #EUVAT

@GOettingerEU Sale of a digital file in transaction between 2 individuals is not service to equal TV, mobile phones, online games #EUVAT

@Ansip_EU Sale of a digital file in transaction between 2 individuals is not service to equal TV, mobile phones, online games #EUVAT

@DavidGauke Sale of a digital file in transaction between 2 individuals is not service to equal TV, mobile phones, online games #EUVAT

@pierremoscovici #EUVAT to make Amazon pay fair taxes will give them a stranglehold on ebooks. Not too bad for Amazon. Dreadful for authors.

@GOettingerEU #EUVAT to make Amazon pay fair taxes will give them a stranglehold on ebooks. Not too bad for Amazon. Dreadful for authors.

@Ansip_EU #EUVAT to make Amazon pay fair taxes will give them a stranglehold on ebooks. Not too bad for Amazon. Dreadful for authors.

@DavidGauke #EUVAT to make Amazon pay fair taxes will give them a stranglehold on ebooks. Not too bad for Amazon. Dreadful for authors.

@pierremoscovici EU olive oil regs were suspended because small traders couldn’t afford to comply, benefiting big corporations who could.

@GOettingerEU EU olive oil regs were suspended because small traders couldn’t afford to comply, benefiting big corporations who could #EUVAT

@Ansip_EU EU olive oil regs were suspended because small traders couldn’t afford to comply, benefiting big corporations who could #EUVAT

@DavidGauke EU olive oil regs were suspended because small traders couldn’t afford to comply, benefiting big corporations who could #EUVAT

@pierremoscovici #EUVAT suspension & review will prove EU Commission is responsive. Otherwise this will be a gift for right-wing extremists

@GOettingerEU #EUVAT suspension & review will prove EU Commission is responsive. Otherwise this will be a gift for right-wing extremists

@Ansip_EU #EUVAT suspension & review will prove EU Commission is responsive. Otherwise this will be a gift for right-wing extremists

@DavidGauke #EUVAT suspension & review will prove EU Commission is responsive. Otherwise this will be a gift for right-wing extremists