February 10, 2015

S.A.D. (again)

[ Death Cab For Cutie - Black Sun ]


A heads-up on #EUVAT / #VATMOSS / #VATMESS

Update on 13/2/2015: Gumroad have announced that they will be complying with the new rules and will collect and pay VAT to the EU on sales made through their platform. I will therefore be putting my PDFs back up soon. Patreon have also indicated on Twitter that they are aware of the problem caused by the new regulations, and say they are working hard on finding a solution. To me, this indicates that there is a great possibility that things can turn around at least in some areas, and hopefully sooner than later.

For reasons related to a new EU-wide tax law on digital products, I've ended my Patreon campaign. Plans to make any money off digital versions of my personal work are for the most part suspended indefinitely (update 13/2/2015: PDFs will be available again on Gumroad soon, so there's that).

Since January 1, 2015, for any one person in another EU country who pays money for my digital content, I would need to collect, analyse and store two pieces of evidence that they live there, collect VAT according to one of 75 different applicable rates in the EU and file quarterly VAT returns on what could sometimes literally be enough to treat myself to an extra döner.

There's a reason why people like me benefit from a VAT threshold in Germany, but this law renders that threshold void the minute a fan in Paris pays for my digital comics. I don't have the means to handle the admin involved when that happens, so I'm not going to let it happen. There is an exemption for income generated through third-party sites like Patreon, but Patreon currently do not have a solution implemented (though they say they are working on it) and I'm not interested in accruing income that might make me liable for collecting and documenting VAT on a corporate scale.

To sum things up, a whole swath of my 2015 plans have been scrapped because the EU missed the memo that microbusinesses aren't staffed like Amazon. It's the kind of setback you don't want to see happen when you're an independent creator. Ever.

To get more information on what this new law means for creators selling digital products to consumers in the EU, including digital downloads of music, books and video, go here. To help me cover the noticeable loss in income, you can commission artwork from me here and buy comics and original art from me here. To sign the petition demanding an EU-wide exemption for small businesses and sole traders, go here.

The system designed by this legislation is unsustainable for freelancers like myself and there will come a time when lawmakers must reckon with the damage. Until then, as much as it kills me to hit a brick wall like this on my projects, I'd rather play it safe and back out.

As you were.

(Updated Feb. 13, 2015 concerning Gumroad and Patreon.)

January 27, 2015

5 Jahre

I moved to Berlin five years ago today. I'm very happy that I stuck around.

January 19, 2015

Mixtape Monday: Car Drive 2014 + Yearly Recap

Today's Mixtape Monday features the newest instalment of my yearly mix series, Car Drive - initially just something I put together to listen to in the family car, now pretty much a chronicle of the past year told through songs. If you had a year full of transitions, professional ambitions and the occasional instance of suckiness, this mix just might be for you! I got to give it a spin while driving up and down the coast of Northern California, which was pretty cool and didn't alienate too many family members.

You can listen to it (minus Cooper's "This Year") on Spotify.


Also, due to time constraints, I'm not doing a recap comic this year, BUT below you will find an unsorted recap of stuff I did and enjoyed. Read on below the cut, if you are so inclined!