EU VAT group reassures e-traders on Brexit vote

The trend of having to pay VAT where the customer rather than the seller is located is “not going to go away,” although a scheme in Britain that makes doing so simpler might.

Lobby group EU VAT Action issued this alert to the UK’s digital traders who supply EU consumers following a meeting with Treasury, organised in light of the UK’s Brexit decision.

For now, with the UK still being in the EU, such traders have the same rights -- and obligations, as before the vote, so EU VAT still applies to them, regardless of their location.   

The VAT MOSS, the simplification scheme that lets sellers submit returns and payments for 27 countries in one go, also remains unaffected during the UK’s negotiations with the EU.

“What will happen to it [the scheme] after that [once the UK leaves the EU, triggered by invoking Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty], no one knows,” the lobby group cautioned.

In a v-blog reflecting on the Treasury meeting, the group’s Clare Josa said that the UK’s access to MOSS “will be discussed” but added that, for now, officials “simply don’t know.”

Ireland’s taxman says he does know. In a statement to the Mail on Sunday, he said “Once the UK leaves the EU, businesses there will not have access to… [MOSS] through the UK”.

So registering to use MOSS in Ireland would “likely” be the “attractive option” for such businesses, added the statement by the Office of the Revenue Commissioners in Ireland.

“There will still need to be a way for people to collect the VAT,” Ms Josa reassured. “At the moment in the UK, systems are being put in place to deal with the situation.”

In the meantime, and until the post-Brexit future of MOSS for British firms is clearer, the lobbyist advised EU VAT payers against making any “major decisions based on guesswork”. 

Editor’s Note: Related Reading –

Digital firms cautioned over EU VAT consultation

Call for ‘extra push’ against EU VAT rules

Cameron back in push for EU VAT exemption

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Written by Simon Moore

Simon writes impartial news and engaging features for the contractor industry, covering, IR35, the loan charge and general tax and legislation.
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