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Leaving The EU: What It Means For Your Business


It’s been like a rollercoaster without a seatbelt since the result of the UK EU referendum.

It’s time to gather our energies and adjust to whatever the new realities are going to be.

I’ll be covering:

  • Leaving The EU: What’s Going To Happen Next?
  • Leaving The EU: How Does It Affect Your Business?
  • Leaving The EU: How Does It Affect Your Tax Return?
  • Leaving The EU: How Does It Affect EU VAT?
  • Leaving The EU: What Are The Next Steps For Your Business?

This is a safe space for you to learn what you can do now.


Leaving The EU: What’s Going To Happen Next?

No-one knows what’s going to happen, this is unprecedented territory.

I feel blessed to have been born at a time when we’ve had 70 years of peace and stability. We can be grateful for that.

As my fellow EU VAT Action co-founder, Clare Josa, says, ‘it’s ok for it not to be ok’.

The vote has world changing consequences and what you can do is do as much as you can to keep your own energy and decisions in a good place and look after yourself (including time to grieve if needed).

Let’s look at some options:

Post EU Options:

  1. We stay in the single market like Norway
  2. We don’t stay in the single market and have an arrangement like Switzerland
  3. We negotiate a separate deal

It’s important to remember that nothing changes yet.

(By changes, I mean steps to leave the EU. Changes about jobs and funding are already in train and occurring, whatever happens later).

The first step is the UK activating Article 50 (the section in law saying ‘we’re moving out of the EU’). That may or may not happen. This is so unprecedented, even that isn’t a done deal.

We have the above 3 options, and no-one knows what’s going to happen beyond what other countries have done before.

It would not surprise me if Option 7 or 8 is what happens – it’s global changing stuff we’re experiencing.

(Have some tea and cake, I always find tea and cake so reassuring).


Leaving The EU: How Does It Affect Your Business?

So how does all this affect your business right here and now.

We’re still in the EU. Until Article 50 is activated, the clock doesn’t start, so everything stays in place.

What may change is your access to funding and investment (I have clients who started their business on an EU grant). That is already being withdrawn.

There are widespread changes across international and national business, so find out what’s happening for your clients, tribe, customers and suppliers.

Get informed and stay calm.

Keep as positive energy as you can (while allowing that it’s ok for it not to be ok).


Leaving The EU: How Does It Affect Your Tax Return?

Your tax return is not affected.

There may be changes in the longer term if/when the UK has left the EU.

If you live in Scotland, there were changes coming anyway (a new Scottish income tax), and if you live abroad we don’t know what will happen with international double taxation agreements (how countries agree to tax your income so you aren’t taxed twice).

There are EU laws that affect business accounts (especially for limited companies), however, we don’t know what’s going to happen and so we don’t know what the changes will be, if any.

So for the moment, no change there.

Keep your eye on the bare necessities.



Leaving The EU: How Does It Affect EU VAT?

As you will know if you read my articles regularly, I am co-founder of EU VAT Action who campaigned for a threshold when the new EU VAT legislation came in (learn more).

It’s a myth that the UK leaving the EU means we no longer need to deal with EU VAT.

EU VAT is global tax law and the need to comply isn’t dependent on our membership of the EU. EU VAT applies whether we are in the EU, out of the EU or in any arrangement the politicians haven’t invented yet.

So if you export your applicable digital sales to an EU country (aka a consumer in Germany bought your e course), EU VAT will still apply.

What would change if the UK left the EU:

  • Our voice to keep a threshold for micro businesses on the EU agenda
  • Losing access to the VATMOSS system is likely
  • HMRC’s light touch, only requiring 1 piece of location evidence

Losing access to the VATMOSS system means doing one or more of the following:

  • Use third party platforms
  • Register for VATMOSS in Ireland
  • Submit returns to each country in their own language and currency

None of this has happened yet so stay calm, keep informed and take the steps you need.

Uncertainty is all part of business.

More information: Leaving The EU: What It Means For EU VAT

(Pause to put on the kettle for another cuppa)


Leaving The EU: What Are The Next Steps For Your Business?

What do we know?

We know the UK will be in the EU until the negotiations end after Article 50 is activated. This is at least 18 months at the fastest, and fast is not what is happening.

We know the vote has triggered global change and we don’t know what that will look like so we need to stay informed and keep calm.

What do we need to do?

We need to look after our individual self care to keep centred and grounded.

We need to look at our businesses and fill in the gaps, you know, all the stuff you’ve been putting off, to make our businesses as resilient as possible.

When life gets uncertain, go to the basics.

And we need to look after each other.

To quote Paul McCartney’s frog song, ‘win or lose, arm in arm, side by side, we’ll all stand together’.

Please share far and wide.



What are you doing to keep your business and yourself healthy after the referendum vote?

Share with me on FacebookTwitterInstagram, follow me on Periscope or leave a comment. I’d love to hear from you.

(This is a place to share and support. Any arguments or abuse will be deleted without notice).

If you need one to one support knowing what to do for your business tax returns and strategy, learn more about coaching.

If you need an at-your-own-pace tax return course that’s easy to understand, have a look at How To Do Your Own Tax Return course.

Try my free resources and download the expenses spreadsheet and tax return checklist.


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