The webcomics blog about webcomics

Valentine’s Eve And It’s Cold

Very cold. Right now, it’s warmer in traditionally blizzard-swept regions like the Dakotas than it is here in New Jersey. My dog has gone completely lethargic¹. The only joy in life comes across the laser-etched wires of the internet, and that will have to sustain us until Spring comes, or we are devoured by ice weasels.

  • It was around the first of December of last year that the implications of the European Union tax-harmonization changes going into effect on 1 January 2015 (aka VATMOSS) first broke into the consciousness of webcomickers (as well as others selling e-goods on the internet). Uncertainty about the ability to comply with the requirements² led most creators on both sides of the Atlantic to decide that they would have no choice but to suspend sales to EU residents.

    However, I’m seeing word from more than one creator (KB Spangler, who was among the first to raise the VATMOSS alarm, as well as Jon Rosenberg) that Gumroad — a very popular mechanism for selling things like e-goods — is going to be addressing the VATMOSS headaches:

    Just got an email from @gumroad addressing changes because of #VATMOSS. Still reading over the terms but looks solid. Thanks, guys!

    Looks like @gumroad is changing their policy and they’re going to handle all the VAT bullshit on their end. Good. End of story.

    Gumroad’s announcement is here, with the critical piece being:

    We are tackling VAT in the same way. Going forward, this is what creators on Gumroad need to do to properly handle VAT for their digital products:

    Go back to making awesome stuff.

    In other words, we’re on it. Gumroad will collect VAT as required and remit it to the EU. You won’t need to fill out any forms, register for anything, or send anything out. Your (EU-based) customers, will see (and pay) the added VAT on their purchases.

    . . .

    These changes were neither easy nor cheap, but it was crucial to us to make this as smooth and invisible as possible. Handling VAT will cost us approximately 1% of each transaction. We’ve decided it is important to absorb that cost so there will be no change to our 5% + 25¢ fee.

    [emphasis original]

    I don’t use Gumroad to distribute anything so it’s likely that Spangler, Rosenberg, et. al., are getting additional details, but from the outside this looks like Gumroad has just given their clients a hell of a good reason to stay loyal to them, and once word spreads will likely be picking up new business. And as long as that’s one tax-related headache out of the way, how about you check out Brad Guigar’s guide to US sales tax over at Webcomics Dot Com; Guigar has kindly unlocked the subscription requirement for this post, so you can read the whole thing.

  • Horrible weather and taxes! Can’t you come up with anything pleasant today, Gary? How about a new Perry Bible Fellowship strip, which has just been added to the main PBF site after sitting on Twitter for a couple of hours. Some things to note here:
    1. This is the sixth of the six new strips that Gurewitch announced a few weeks back
    2. Holy [fill in the blank] this thing is gorgeous; Gurewitch gets so much mileage out of his cartoony style (as in these recent examples) that I sometimes forget just how accomplished an artist he is
    3. It’s pretty much a perfect joke; there is nothing to add, nothing to trim away nothing that could make it better

    Go read it; we don’t know when we’ll get more.

  • As a followup to KC Green announcing that Pinocchio would get an irregular schedule to allow him to work on other things, something really quite nice. And disturbing. Nice and disturbing. Green was a contributor to The Sleep of Reason, and he’s shared his contribution to that anthology with us. I AM SICK is based on the church Green attended as a child and is a profoundly unsettling story (not unlike his earlier The Dog’s Sins), and reinforces my belief that self-contained longform stories are where Green really shines. Go read it, but maybe be careful being around anybody with flu-like symptoms afterwards.

Spam of the day:

[incoherent string of placeholder symbols ]

Thanks, and while I’m sure that your selection of mail-order brides is excellent, you seem to be mistaking me for somebody who buys into MRA theories of gender roles and that makes you terrible. Please go be a garbage person elsewhere.

¹ Although, given that he’s a greyhound, that’s not unusual.

² In that a scheme designed to get large vendors like Amazon to pay up their fair share of VAT was going to whack mostly small vendors who couldn’t possibly meet the regulatory data-gathering and retention requirements, and there was no lower threshold of sales to trigger the compliance requirement.

[…] Digital comics | Gary Tyrrell picks up on a story that’s significant for digital comics creators, the implement of the new VAT regulations for European customers, and notes that Gumroad is handling all the details for creators that use that service. [Fleen] […]

[…] So we talked about what Gumroad is doing for its clients in re: VATMOSS last week. But it’s simply not enough for Brad Guigar to point out what one company is doing […]

RSS feed for comments on this post.