Convoluted Vat policies a drag on SME exports to the continent
Exports across Europe by small to medium-sized enterprises are being "stifled" by inconsistent Vat rates and exemptions, it's been claimed.
The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) said small businesses in Northern Ireland are excluded from doing business around Europe because the Vat system here and in other member states is too complicated.
ACCA published a report pointing out the problems posed by Vat across Europe, to mark the 40th anniversary of the introduction of Vat in the UK.
Chas Roy-Chowdhury, ACCA head of taxation, said: "Vat was supposed to be simple. In the UK alone it has become a complicated tax, but when you add in the various rates and exclusions that apply in the EU, it becomes a maze.
"The real losers in this are small businesses and consumers. Efforts to increase SME exports in the UK will always be stifled by the burden of the various Vat rates and exemptions across the EU."