Founded in early 2020, 1StopVAT has quickly built a reputation as a reliable platform to help clients stay VAT compliant around the world. Tax compliance is a messy area for businesses that sell products and services online and across borders. Due to the issues faced by these businesses, it can be difficult to stay within the laws. What is legal in one country may not be allowed in another when paying VAT.
Knowing the issues companies in the digital world face, Raminta Stasionienė helped launch 1StopVAT providing an online platform to keep entrepreneurs from running afoul of VAT laws. The rapidly growing company offers clients existing products that can be integrated to their websites. 1StopVAT provides tailored services to its clients ensuring they meet the various tax laws in the countries they sell products and services within.
Recently, Stasionienė sat down with Totalprestige Magazine to talk about 1StopVAT and its benefits to customers around the globe.
1StopVAT is a company focused on streamlining international growth and helping other businesses become tax compliant. Raminta, what led you to the company and working with other businesses on international tax compliance?
I have been in the accounting field for more than 10 years and from the beginning of my career I have been interested in unique projects which help businesses to improve and modernize their accounting matters. Nowadays, more and more entrepreneurs are moving their businesses online. Together with the team we saw that innovation and creativity grow business and us as experts, therefore a startup is a great place to build up on existing skills and gain additional knowledge in various fields. We are constantly creating new competitive products and this project is a great place to implement such ideas.
How can a business benefit from working with 1StopVAT to grow itself internationally?
Together with our partners, we provide full cycle B2B services to online businesses. Our clients get quality, experience, continuity and single point of contact. In addition to that, with the technical solutions we offer, we provide advanced services which are budget-friendly for startups and long-lasting businesses. Our goal is to minimize the burden of handling taxes and encourage focus on the goals our clients seek.
As a business grows and attempts to reach away from its own borders, what are some of the pitfalls that can be encountered?
In today’s world, E-Commerce is booming. More and more businesses are choosing to go digital to reach a broader audience of potential customers for their goods and services. There are no borders, however, most entrepreneurs encounter difficulties when their businesses are spread in different countries and they have no local knowledge, nor time to spend on researching and implementing different tax rates, rules, and regulations. Taxes can become a confusing, time-consuming burden for many companies, no matter their size.
We offer guidance and automated solutions to make it as easy as possible, so that there are no additional troubles regarding taxes.
How long did it take to build the 1StopVAT platform and integration, and how easy is it for other companies to integrate it into their websites?
We are constantly improving our platform and will continue to do so. It is more a process rather than a project that has a beginning and an end. Our API solution enables us to consolidate multiple payment gateways and websites in a single dashboard. The process is quick and user-friendly.
With the current coronavirus pandemic bringing many businesses to a standstill, do you believe countries will become more aggressive in the collecting of VAT from digital services, freelancers and other businesses? How important is it for these groups to have a platform like 1StopVAT to work with?
With the Coronavirus outbreak forcing countries around the globe to quarantine, people naturally turned to digital entertainment or online platforms to facilitate work from home. Since E-Commerce is a field which is increasing during these uncertain times, tax authorities will definitely be interested if businesses stay compliant.
Money will be needed to be raised for all the economic benefits offered and the goal will be to generate as much tax revenue as possible, so tax authorities will definitely start paying more attention to VAT compliance in E-Commerce.
Generally, it is advised to monitor sales in foreign countries and when necessary, apply for VAT as this will save from possible penalties or administrative responsibility in the long run. We offer this solution for clients, we do have a platform where thresholds are monitored automatically, so VAT compliance is easy and not an issue.
How difficult is it for a digital service provider to be VAT compliant? Why do these groups need to ensure they are VAT compliant?
If you are a business who sells services in 10 different countries all over the globe it means you might be dealing with 10 different tax advisors, provide tons of various different required information which for most of the businesses is too time consuming, expensive and prevents entrepreneurs from staying focused on their main goals.
According to 2015 EU VAT Directive and to similar VAT laws applied in other countries across the world afterwards, VAT must be applied to the B2C sale of a digital service based on where the customer of the services is located. Meaning, if businesses provide B2C digital services, VAT must be charged during the sale with the correct tax rate of the country in which the client is the resident and VAT must be paid in that country.
I would like to draw attention that global digitalization has not only impacted businesses, but given access to the latest technologies to tax authorities. Nowadays, tax authorities easily receive information about your transactions using several sources such as banks, payments processors, marketplaces and payment systems. Tax avoidance is not an option anymore, since there are more and more examples when companies are being investigated in different countries on how they are dealing with their taxes. For example, UK tax authorities since September 2016 have started over 2,000 VAT investigations on distance sellers selling via online marketplaces. As from January 2018 HMRC has issued more than 1,300 joint and several liability notices.
In what ways have accounting adapted to the current surge in technology seen in other industries?
As the majority of businesses are choosing to go online and implement automated solutions, we are putting all efforts into always staying in front of it. From the incorporation of the company tax experts and IT experts are working hand in hand, our goal is to make our services as user-friendly as possible, so that entrepreneurs can focus on the goals that matter to them.
Raminta, you have a long history in accounting. Why did you choose this career pathway as a business entrepreneur?
Through good times and bad, accountants help companies of all sizes create strategic plans to maximize success and limit chances of failure. Without accounting it would be very difficult for businesses to analyze their financial performance, which would make it harder for organizations to make smart decisions for the future. I was and I still am interested in economy, taxes, investment funds and therefore chose this career path. It has a lot of responsibility, but even more opportunities.
Raminta, you have only been CEO of the company since January 2020. There is a lot of unknown currently due to the coronavirus pandemic, but what do you see in the future for yourself and for 1StopVAT?
I am involved in various projects and since we have expanded really quickly, we saw the opportunity to make this project a unique startup. It has been only six months since January, however, we are moving fast, rapidly growing, creating new products for the market, expanding our client list and providing tailored services to our growing clients. We forecast a minimum to double in size in the next half a year.
For more information on Raminta Stasionienė and 1StopVAT, please visit https://1stopvat.com/