The EU consultation on #VATMOSS is now open

Important VATMOSS update
On 1 December 2016 the European Commission announced a package of proposed reforms to the VATMOSS scheme. Please read this post for the latest updates, as some of the proposed changes may affect the situation described in the post below.

The EU has opened its promised public consultation into VATMOSS.

It must be said that even in the act of soliciting public feedback, they are still sticking to their talking points. For example, the consultation works from the perspective that the whole system is a good thing because it helps you to trade internationally. It begins like this:

The complications of having to deal with many different national tax systems represent a real obstacle for companies trying to trade cross-border both online and offline.

It’s as if they have to get that spin in from the very first sentence. And so they do, even after a tax law writer has officially called out the solution as the obstacle to cross-border trade.

Some of the survey questions blatantly sneer at the reality campaigners have been pointing out to them for over a year. For example:

16) Please indicate how you became aware of the changes to these rules (multiple answers allowed)
–Tax administration in your Member State
–European Commission
–Representative organisation
–Tax practitioner
–Other

The EU knows full well what “other” means and could have expanded it to reflect the reality of how people found out about this law – bloggers, conference talk, podcast, and so forth. I wonder if their bureaucratic nature means they cannot comprehend systems that do not operate on a “man in a suit” structure where information flows vertically from authority figures. In our industry, information flows horizontally within networks.

As for this question:

25) Please indicate your level of agreement with the objective of the Commission to minimise burdens attached to cross-border e-commerce arising from different VAT regimes:

-Strongly agree
-Agree
-Disagree
-Strongly disagree
-No opinion

That’s not a policy consultation, that’s self-righteousness.

Finally, you have to love this introductory phrase:

The Commission has prepared an inception impact assessment…

So that’s it official. VATMOSS IS “INCEPTION”. I knew it.

If you have been affected by VATMOSS please take the survey today. It is open until 18 December.

About the author
Heather Burns is a digital law specialist in Glasgow, Scotland. She researches, writes, publishes, consults, and speaks extensively on internet laws and policies which affect the crafts of web design and development. She has been designing and developing web sites since 1997 and has been a professional web site designer since 2007. She holds a postgraduate certification in internet law and policy from the University of Strathclyde. Learn about hiring Heather to write, speak, or consult.