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Title: Small change, big impact : implications of 2015 VAT changes on digital SMEs
Authors: Theuma, Lara
Keywords: Value-added tax -- Law and legislation -- European Union countries
Small business -- Information technology -- Malta
Small business -- Information technology -- European Union countries
Information technology -- Economic aspects -- Malta
Information technology -- Economic aspects -- European Union countries
Issue Date: 2016
Abstract: Purpose: The primary objective of this dissertation is to assess the implications of the 2015 place of supply rules on both local and EU SMEs. This study reviews SMEs’ familiarity with these new regulations, the options available for VAT compliance (with particular focus on MOSS and multiple VAT registration) and more importantly, the effect that these new rules have had on SMEs’ competitiveness. Design: The objectives of this study were achieved through comprehensive literature review and a number of semi-structured interviews conducted with the Maltese VAT Department together with local and EU digital service providers. Findings: The interviews brought to light the various implications on both local and EU SMEs that have emerged due to the new legislation. Despite the fact that the majority of the respondents were aware of these new rules, many were still unprepared and, as the findings show the changes brought about by these rules have had an adverse effect on businesses, particularly small businesses and start-ups. This was mainly due to the complexity, cost and time involved in administering the new system. Conclusions: The results of this dissertation highlight the fact that the limitations associated with this legislation outweigh the potential advantages for SMEs to the extent that this may limit their possible future expansion. The study establishes that this legislation, positions all entities in a ‘one-size-fits-all’ scenario. The study shows that although large corporations have the capability to comply and adhere to the new rules, SMEs are at a considerable disadvantage since they may not have the necessary resources and financial means to meet such obligations. Value: SMEs represent an important segment of the macroeconomic environment so it is essential to study the implications of any amendments in the fiscal environment which could possibly hinder their expansion and their long-term position. This is of particular importance to Malta given the predominance of SMEs and the lack of potential growth in the local domestic market. This dissertation provides recommendations at a EU and national level to mitigate the effect of these implications.
Description: M.ACCTY.
Appears in Collections:Dissertations - FacEma - 2016
Dissertations - FacEMAAcc - 2016

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