My view of what Patreon offers...solution to vatmoss and delivery...and what I will do next

Seriously thinking of jumping the Patreon ship.
With recent changes, I’ve had a couple of people jump. But had another good supporter query my decision for sticking with it. He wants me to get as much as possible and unhappy Patreon is getting more…
He’s done the maths for me.
I am uk based, and my original reason for joining was digital delivery. Eu vatmoss is horrible. Even if you are below tax threshold if you have a digital exchange for product or service (I get money…you get a digital download) you have to look after Nill balance returns, knowing where money is being paid from for each individual country… nightmare. Patreon solved it as they were third party system.

As the my year with Patreon has progressed I’ve refined my offering, as I’ve discovered why supporters support me. In the end…it’s because they want to. In fact most of them tell me that the product is nice (they support me because if my calling, not to get stuff).

So I’ve been able to get to the point that actually, I can make stuff and give it away to everyone for free, and they will still support me.

And because They are simply supporting me and I make stuff which is available anywhere, there is no vatmoss worries. There is tax of course, but that’s dealt with elsewhere

So…I’m setting up my own subscription site through WordPress and third party plugins. It will take me a week to figure out, but far easier.

Sorry Patreon…it was good, honest, but you’re too rich for my blood. And just a little more effort on my part and I will be better off on my own.


Best of luck to you! I hope it all works out well. :smiley:

Hmm m m m m. And you’re sure this would work out well, VAT-wise? Did you run this by some tax peeps? :open_mouth:

If you find a solution for direct subscription on wordpress, would you be willing to share? I’d pay money for help setting up something like this. No more third party sites. I’d have far more subscribers if they were dealing with me directly.

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I’m going to get onto this this week. Follow this thread and if any wine is interested I can show you the way I’ve done it.


I’m not sure how VAT reporting works in your country, but the way it works in Sweden, it’s fairly complicated. You need to collect the VAT for each country individually, different rates etc. and then pay each country it’s individual tax - the Swedish IRS offers a pretty simple service for this, but it’s still quite a bit of work to have it set up correctly. I’m a programmer and my initial plan was actually to build my own membership solution, but I ended up with Patreon specifically because they handle the VAT mess which makes the 5% fee a bargain compared to the cost of building my own solution and the costs of paying an accountant for the mess.

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That’s exactly the problem. The reason why it works well at Patreon is the relationship, as has been highlighted in other posts, is with the patron, and they use us to get the business. Then Patreon pay us. They look after the heavy lifting and mass group all the countries together. So rather than us taking care of it on a case by case basis, they do it for us. They don’t look at individual accounts because they aren’t paying our tax commitments…they are paying theirs.

I have looked but have not been able to find another provider. Basically you are looking for a digital distributor as a third party. So Etsy, for example is no good, nor gum road because you receive funds directly and are responsible for sending out the product.

The uk enables you to register at a zero rate, but it’s complex.

I’ve tried to come up with creative solutions, such as sending out usb sticks as a physical product or cd’s, but it’s a little too grey hat, and complex. I think it would be seen as trying to evade law rather than staying within it.

For what it’s worth, the “DriveThru” family of sites is a digital distributor. I use DriveThruRPG for 3D-printer STL downloads, for instance. But they take a way bigger cut than Patreon, and I’m not sure they have the sophisticated support for handling groups of members at different tiers and etc. There’s still a lot right about Patreon, even if they handled this particular change spectacularly poorly.

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Thanks. Useful to know for anither project I’m working on

Wordpress and 3rd party plugins? It’s that easy?

I always thought that someone would make something similar to, with less fees and a bit more save for nsfw creators, didn’t know you can already do that on your own…would you mind sharing some links of these plugins?

Let me get it streamlined. They are paid for plugins, but we’ve got a company which can distribute the code across its network.

Yep. So far, Patreon is pretty lonely in offering this. There are plenty of providers but if they are not handling VAT you’ll get into trouble. In fact, it’s really irresponsible for them to market themselves to EU creators because you might get yourself into massive tax trouble if you don’t have this down. I assume that someone will start handling it soon as it’s basically leaving millions of dollars on the table.

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Update: I just reached out to Podia (, and they said that they were going to support VAT in “2018”.

Update again: They said “Early Q1 2018”

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