#VATMOSS and Brexit: what now?

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.

Yesterday members of the EU VAT Action campaign met with HMRC and HM Treasury to discuss the state of play for VATMOSS in light of the Brexit referendum. This meeting had already been scheduled in advance of the referendum, a sign of the Campaign’s commitment to maintaining an open dialogue with Whitehall.

You can read their summary and view a video update here.

Salient points

  • The OECD has formally recognised the need for a VATMOSS threshold. In the space of two years, thanks to the work of the Campaign, the powers that be have gone from having no idea what a microbusiness was at all, to acknowledging their place in business legislation.
  • The direction of travel continues to be taxation based on the place of supply, not on the location of the seller. In other words, the rollout to physical goods is coming. I will be writing more on this when we get more information.
  • The proposed small business threshold is likely to be proposed in December.
  • Brexit or not, your voice will still be heard.
  • The UK has been vocal and active on the MOSS issue. Brexit or not, the Campaign now needs microbusinesses and affected traders in Europe to become just as vocal and active. There has always been a certain level of disdain from policymakers that the MOSS concerns were spoilt British moaning. That was never true. Now, we can’t let them use the referendum result as an excuse to dismiss all of the concerns raised in the past two years as British whingeing.
  • Do not make any rash decisions – such as reincorporating in Ireland or pulling out of Europe altogether – until we have more certainty on what the future may bring.

Need to know more?

If you’re new to VATMOSS, you can read the post archive, or watch this 35 minute presentation I gave in May of this year.

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.