Donato Raponi Is Now Listening – This Is Your Chance To Make Your Voice Heard 15

Donato Raponi is Head of VAT at the EU Commission. His name may be familiar to you because he was one of the key recipients of the December EU VAT Twitter Storm and the ‘write to your MEP’ campaign at the end of last year. He is one of the top decision-makers on the EU VAT legislation. Following lobbying from you, some dedicated MEPs, some of the campaign’s supporters in the EU Commissions and the EU VAT Action Team, he has agreed to a meeting in the next 10 working days, to discuss options on the new EU VAT rules.

He met with Syed Kamall and Vicky Ford, two British MEPs, today. They presented data we had collated for them, including a wide range of case studies and survey responses, and also evidence of why payment providers, including PayPal, can’t fix the problems faced by micro businesses for this new legislation. They took him through how things are going, since the January 1st implementation. This data proves that the EU VAT legislation causes major problems for micro businesses Europe-wide (actually worldwide) and is not just a UK problem, which was a vital point for Raponi’s team.

Donato Raponi is now beginning to understand the hugely devastating unintended consequences of the new EU VAT rules on place of supply, which have brought boardroom levels of complexity to the kitchen tables of the world’s micro businesses.

We will be representing you in Brussels at the next meeting with Mr. Raponi, supported by the MEPs.

Emma Jones from Enterprise Nation and possibly some businesses representing typical case studies will also be invited, so there will be a strong, well-informed and experienced team to make sure your voice is heard.

We will be presenting the latest data and case studies, as well as lobbying Mr. Raponi’s team to:

Immediately issue a derogation for micro businesses so that they are no longer subject to the new EU VAT rules, but instead revert to their Member State’s previous VAT regulations.

This would remove the unjustifiable burden of this legislation from all businesses below the EU’s definition of €2 million turnover.

We are not making any promises. But the fact that Donato Raponi has agreed to meet us is incredible progress and has taken several months of hard work from the groups who are involved in supporting this campaign.

So thank you for submitting your case studies. Thank you for the letters you have written. Thank you for signing the petition. Thank you for being part of the EU VAT Action Campaign Group.

How You Can Help:

  1. Write to your MEPs and ask them to tell Donato Raponi specifically how the legislation is a problem for you. Please do this ASAP!

  3. And if you would be prepared to be a ‘post-implementation’ case study for us to take with us to the meeting, please let us know via the comments.

We will let you know as soon as we have any more news.

In the meantime, please join our group on Facebook to make sure you hear about the next Action Challenge, which we’ll be announcing tomorrow. It’s a really important one – and it’s going to be fun!

Thank you!

Clare & the EU VAT Action Team

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15 thoughts on “Donato Raponi Is Now Listening – This Is Your Chance To Make Your Voice Heard

  • Els AW

    This is great news! Thanks for all the efforts you made for the micro and small businesses.
    Keep my fingers crossed there is some common sense in the European Parliament 😉
    To be listened to is a big step!

  • Beat

    This is best news of new 2015 year! Keep it going!

    Public Message and post-implementation news To EU Commission:

    A reasonable 2 M€-turnover EU-wide simple VAT threshhold could have a MUCH bigger* impact on the whole EU economy (to consumers first and also to small businesses directly, and indirectly to the whole economy) than the rumored ECB QE of this Thursday which is just a very costly jump to a bigger quicker-sinking ship and without an exit door!

    Please as a general rule, when adding a page of new regulations or laws, remove (or make inapplicable) at least 2-10 pages of existing laws. EU has become a nightmare to comply to all complex regulations, not to speak about diverging individual nations laws. Nightmares discourage enterpreunership and kill economies. KISS (Keep It Simple and Stupid) the regulations for small companies (below minimum 2M€), and EU will flourish without needing any QE (which would/will have dramatic effects in the future).

    As many businesses we have been affected by #EUVAT2015, first of all by losing days to understand it, then by spending days to stopping some of our offerings and then also increasing our prices to include manual services to avoid it overall in the hope that it will be fixed soon. Overall the impact of #EUVAT2015 can be quantified with a 20-25% decrease in revenues and 50+% decrease in profits for our small business over the first 20 days of this year! Quite dramatic!

    Hope you can soon stop or fix with a 2+ M€ EU-wide threshhold this complete non-sense #EUVAT2015. Thanks for listening and Happy 2015!

  • Beth

    All of this is great news! However, please also stress that this legislation is not just a threat to EU micro businesses, but ALL micro businesses selling digital content WORLD-WIDE. Since us non-EU business have no MPs or MEPs to write to, we are left out in the wilderness a bit.

    It would still be devastating if a threshold was granted but only to EU sellers, with non-EU sellers having to abide by a zero threshold as currently. Even if the lowest, or average, EU threshold was applied to everyone outside the EU, that would be an improvement.

    Thank you for all your fabulous work, VATACTION team!

    • Clare Josa Post author

      Hi Beth,
      We urgently need people outside of the EU to write to their equivalent of MPs / Tax Authority. Yes, we’re stressing with each communication that this is a worldwide problem, but the EU needs non-EU governments to put pressure on them to drop these rules for micro businesses. We are applying for a worldwide threshold, but we need support from non-EU governments to help boost the chances of getting it.
      We have lots of non-EU sellers in the campaign group – it might be worth starting a discussion thread on there to find out who is where & what responses they have had?
      Thanks for commenting, Beth, and you’re welcome!

  • RGerhart

    Thank you very much for your persistence!
    What astonishes me here in Germany is, that when I talk with programmers and shop owners, they have not even heard about the new legislation concerning them directly with their digital sales. It is hard to find a common ground or share best practices, when they do not even recognise the necessity to change anything and furthermore think me crazy and an unnecessarily strict stickler to imagined rules. (They think, if what I say were true, they must have heard about it in the news, but the media is surprisingly silent about the changes.)
    The problem of the new EU legislation in my view was that the changes solely were promoted as concerning only major companies and telecom service providers, so no shop or small business even recognised that the new rules affected them in their daily business as well.
    The consequence I took from this new legislation is that I stopped all direct download options from my own website and only provide my own products via third party links.
    The EU commission with this change gave a big bonus to the big companies, who have a big IT department to make the necessary adjustments and also gave them the necessary information and included them in the decision making process. While small companies have to search for every tiny bit of information and in case of Germany, do not even get the full amount of necessary details online. I had to swap to the English EU information sites, to get further details about the different VAT rates for e-books in the EU countries. The German site just sporadically mentions reduced VAT rates differing from the norm rate and does not specify when they are applicable.

    • Clare Josa Post author

      Really useful insight on the Germany situation – thank you.
      Yes – so few businesses have heard about this – worldwide. Yet the impact on them is enormous.
      Have you joined the German EUVAT business group on Facebook? And we’ve got quite a few Germans in the main group, too:
      Would be great to work with you on solutions.
      Mit freundlichen Grüßen,

    • Clare Josa Post author

      Thank you Gavin! Let us know what kind of replies you get. Please also let us know if you think any of your MEPs are worth us trying to get a meeting with, while we’re over there!