The controversial EU VAT rules which came in earlier this year have been a source of contention amongst a range of businesses, but those who have been most affected by the changes have been small and micro businesses and sole traders who deal with customers in other countries. There were calls at the time to change the way the rules were applied, including the suggestion that smaller businesses would be exempt to ensure that they were not unduly penalised by the burden of administration required by the new rules.
A lobby group that was set up to challenge the changes to the EU VAT rules, EU VAT Action, are urging those who have been affected to take action to encourage the government to change the way the legislation is applied. They are urging one-man-bands and those who are finding it hard to manage the additional administration involved in dealing with the change to write to their MEP, finance ministers or fiscal attachés in advance of the meeting which will be held next month to discuss the future of the legislation.
Claire Josa, of EU VAT Action, is pleased to hear that the EU Commission is satisfied that there is a significant problem for traders caused by the new legislation, so no proof will be needed to show that this is the case. However, they are looking for details of the problems that have been encountered, and suggestions for solutions in order to come up with a workable way to resolve the difficulties that are being encountered.
They want the letters to include details of how the rules have affected businesses and suggestions of how the implementation of a threshold would improve things for those whose businesses are under threat. They would also like to know how a simplified system for those above the threshold would work. The meeting has been scheduled for September, so the lobby group were keen to ensure that the commission is aware that the problem is still ongoing by maintaining pressure on the officials who have the power to effect a change.
With the digital VAT rules high on the agenda, this is a particularly influential meeting and one which could see a real change in the way the legislation is applied, which could make a massive difference to small businesses. With so much riding on it, those affected could be in a position to make a change which could make their businesses viable again, or at least reduce their admin significantly.
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