Why requiring proof of ID to use social networking sites won’t work

I got a big laugh at WordCamp London when I showed the audience this tweet as an example of an “unhelpful intervention”.

The idea of being required to present proof of identification to use social networking sites is obviously a dystopian nightmare borne out of desperate political populism. Aside from that, though, the idea has already been proven – in the courts – to be a non-starter. Continue reading

Patreon caves on #VATMOSS

In February I published a post setting out the implications of Patreon’s refusal to comply with #VATMOSS. I didn’t set out to hit a nerve, but a week later it went viral. At one point it was getting 1000 visits every five minutes. I’d never seen anything like it.

It now appears that Patreon have caved in to public pressure. On 4 March they published this announcement:

Creators and patrons! I’m Chelsea with Ops at Patreon. I am working on our VAT research and solution. Thank you, again, for your patience. Here’s a quick VAT update: Good news! Patreon will handle the collection, filing, and remittance of VAT payments on behalf of our creators. The cost of VAT will be carried by EU patrons. As always, thank you for your patience and feedback. Patreon has your #vatmess covered so you can do what you do best: create.

Pardon me if I am not swooning with grateful admiration at Patreon’s change of heart. Continue reading

Patreon to Europe on #VATMOSS: “Not our problem, mate.”

Update 12 March: Patreon has caved in and agreed to comply with VATMOSS.

Last month I wrote about Patreon’s rather creative interpretation of the VATMOSS rules. At the time, I replied to their email with a far clearer and more accurate explanation of how VATMOSS works than they had apparently received from their clueless consultants at PriceWaterhouseCoopers.

Sadly, Patreon have now confirmed that they will not be fulfilling their obligations as a third party provider. (Note: Patreon’s taxes page has gone offline – what a coincidence – but here’s what it said.) People who use Patreon as creators to share digital output within the EU will be personally responsible for calculating and processing VATMOSS taxes for each and every patron.

Continue reading