The Business and Accounting Software Developers? Association (Basda) today confirmed that it had reached an impasse with the British government on the vexed issue of reporting value-added tax (VAT) in euros.
The software vendors group has been negotiating with the UK Customs and Excise office for some time to try and come to a settlement on how to handle the issue, but the UK government insists that even if a business chooses to pay VAT in euros, it must account for it in sterling.
The problem affects any business that wishes to trade in euros as its base currency because there may be differences in the amounts paid and the amounts the VAT office says is due, but today's accounting software is not designed to handle either this or the conversion reporting issues that arise.
Siemens and BMW, for example, have said they will require all their mutual trading partners to account in euros, which means the current regime will cause British partners accounting headaches.
But the UK government is understood to be concerned that any changes in legislation would lead to smart accountants winkling out loopholes to avoid tax.
At the same time, it believes end user businesses face no pressure to make changes because the UK is not partaking in European Monetary Union just yet, and there will be large exchange rate fluctuations between sterling and the euro over the next year.
"We've put incredible pressure on them, but they've stone walled," said Dennis Keeling, Basda?s chief executive.
He added that the organisation had made a number of suggestions on how to deal with the problem - some of which Customs and Excise are believed to consider useful.
But ironically, Keeling reckons that the impasse creates more problems for the government than for developers or users.
"We've told them they are the ones that will have to do any reconciliation between euros and sterling. We're recommending our members do nothing to alter their software," he said.
Trevor Salomon, marketing director at J D Edwards backed him up. "There are too many vagaries around reporting, and changes at this point would be mightily difficult," he said.
But a spokesman for QSP was not so sure. "This sounds like typical government intransigence, but I have to confess that up to present we have received no customer requests for euro/sterling reporting," he explained.
John Moscrop, single currency manager at the Customs and Excise office was not available for comment, but a spokesperson said there would be a briefing on the subject at 10 am Friday, 18 December at New Kings Beam House, where Moscrop would detail the government's position.
Basda?s Keeling said he expected negotiations between the two parties to start again at the end of February, however.
"Its now up to customers to put pressure on government. We must have a resolution soon," he added.
Cotton seedling freezes to death as Chang'e-4 shuts down for the Moon's 14-day lunar night
Fortnite easily out-earns PUBG, Assassin's Creed Odyssey and Red Dead Redemption 2 in 2018
Meteor showers as a service will be visible for about 100 kilometres in all directions
Saturn's rings only formed in the past 100 million years, suggests analysis of Cassini space probe data
New findings contradict conventional belief that Saturn's rings were formed along with the planet about 4.5 billion years ago