Patreon And VATMOSS - The Truth

There is an uproar on the internet regarding VATMOSS since October 2014 when it first started in the UK. Since 2015 this law/rule change found it´s way to Germany as well.

In general the EU wants from tax paying Service users for sale of digital goods to register at a central point. If you comply, you have to outline where every single buyer comes from and help pay taxes in the states where the buyers reside. This falls under the specific Mini-One-Stop-Shop-Law.

I just was confronted with questions from peers about the bookkeeping aspect and with it the whole VATMOSS situation for Germans.

For German users of services such as Patreon, Spotify, itunes or Amazon, the situation is pretty clear; as of now this rule change is a voluntary one!
In the Terms about the law, which you can read in German here, it states clear on page 2 paragraph 7 that the participation on complying of this rule is voluntary:


In the UK, there is an even easier way to find out if you have to comply by reading the following flowchart:

This means: if you only sell through Amazon, itunes, patreon or Gumroad, the rule does not apply to you. For most independent artists this is true. If you are a company and running a service like Patreon, things get a bit more difficult.

It might make sense to look up the governmant statement of your country to see if there is a similar chart or text you can refer to. I only had time to validate it for Germany and the UK.

The parliaments goal might have been to get the service provider to do the leg work, unfortunately it sounded like they wanted the little man to comply with their rule change. And in my eye this caused the whole uproar.

There are many artists screaming about closing their accounts on patreon and elsewhere, just because they have not read correctly? Hard to believe but it seems to be true if you follow these links:

http://studiofow.tumblr.com/post/111985433539/vatmoss-rip...

http://engelbaum.tumblr.com/post/110632278427/vat-moss...

https://idea15.wordpress.com/2015/02/04/patreon-to-europe...

And a word from Patreon about that matter:
https://www.patreon.com/posts/1817433

I will not say that this should make us all lean back, because the uproar is somewhat necessary to show authorities that they can not just pass bs like this on and expect anyone to comply. If it would be a law that needs to be enforced, I guess anyone with a sane mind would step back from using these platforms - and rightly so.
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Oliver aka Fantasio is a creative blogger who likes to share his insights about art, marketing and social media. Follow Fantasio on twitter or facebook

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