Commission proposals on VAT rules a step in the right direction

06-May-2015 @ 12:45

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Conservative MEPs have given a cautious welcome to proposals from the European Commission to ease the burden on microbusinesses caused by cross-border EU VAT rules.

Today's publication of the Commission's Digital Single Market strategy states that the Commission "will make proposals on introducing a VAT threshold to help small start-up e-commerce businesses".

Conservative MEPs have led the fight to reform the so-called "VATmoss" rules which have meant that, from the start of this year, businesses have had to collect VAT for each individual country they sell to, and keep the records of all their transactions for years.

While the rules may have been a well-intentioned way of preventing big businesses from abusing international tax rules, they did not foresee the huge growth in microbusinesses, such as sellers of e-books.

In March, the Conservative MEP for London Syed Kamall secured support from Commission vice-president Frans Timmermans, who said he would evaluate the effects of the rules.

Today Mr Kamall commented: "The announcement on VATmoss shows the influence of Conservative MEPs in Europe in winning support for small businesses.

"I'm pleased that we've been successful in showing the Commission that it needs to pay close attention to how its rules and regulations are affecting businesses on the ground."

Meanwhile Internal Market Spokesman Vicky Ford said: "The Commission's proposals are a welcome step in the right direction, although we still need to see further details about the proposed threshold, and other measures to ease the burden on small businesses.

"The current rules have been a bureaucratic nightmare for many one-man or one-woman companies. We need to make sure that the single market works well for small businesses as well as big ones."

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