Small businesses trading with the EU are facing another hurdle following the arrival of new VAT rules, which came into effect at the beginning of July.
Cross border trading has become increasingly complicated in the wake of Brexit. From July 1 2021 the EU has changed the way in which VAT is both reported and paid, which could have significant repercussions for VAT registered businesses in the UK selling products and services online to consumers and practicing distance selling into the European Union.
Although the new legislation has been designed to simplify affairs for online businesses selling to customers living within the EU, it adds another level of bureaucracy for bosses and their accounting departments. Company owners must now ensure that their VAT liability and reporting obligations fall within the UE One Stop Shop (OSS) guidance.
However, Sage Accounting customers based in the UK, Ireland, France and Spain will now be able to automatically identify and calculate the correct amount of VAT due. Key factors in the process include identifying where customers are based and whether or not they’re inside or outside the EU region.
The accounts software will now automate much of the work involved by pinpointing the correct VAT rate specific to the country the customer is trading with. This means business owners will only see relevant tax codes, compared to over 50 different options that could potentially apply to one single invoice.
The product enhancement will also offer improved guidance for business owners for each regional Tax Scheme and offer them a better insight into how transactions will be processed. Crucially for UK business owners, this will include support for the Low Value Consignment scheme and those OSS Services.
The improvements will also help customers fast-track their goods into the EU as well as tackling cross border (within the EU) complications. Sage says that it should help customers avoid delays at customs, along with providing clarity on what they will be charged at the point of purchase.
“As we move into our sixth post Brexit month of 2021, the path forward for businesses trading cross border with EU based suppliers and end customers is becoming clearer,” commented Neal Watkins, EVP, Small Segment, Sage.
“Our single focus is to help our customers navigate these changes with solutions and advice that enable them to do better business. E-Commerce gives businesses the ability to reach more customers than traditional retail, and with so many people making their purchases online, it is the fastest-growing retail market – we want our customers to see the opportunities, not the limitations.”
Sage has introduced a raft of supporting information associated with its EU VAT E-commerce Package and customers can access this via the Sage EU VAT hub.