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Gamefound Introduces VAT Payment Option for Non-EU Publishers

W. Eric Martin
United States
North Carolina
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Board Game Designer
From gallery of W Eric Martin
On December 8, 2021, Kickstarter published "The Future of Crowdfunding Creative Projects", an article that presents an overview of plans for the company and for the idea of crowdfunding in general, starting with Kickstarter's development of an open source protocol on a public blockchain that will ideally create a decentralized version of Kickstarter's core functionality. Many smart BGGers have commented on these plans here, explaining terms and speculating on what Kickstarter might have in mind.

In response to this, Marcin Świerkot, CEO of Gamefound, has posted an article of his own: "Our Vision Of The Future Of Crowdfunding". In case you doubted that this article was a comeback to Kickstarter's post, here's the second paragraph: "Long story short - our vision and plan are not some fancy/trendy buzzwords, but a lot of down-to-earth hard work on details and tools." More specifically, writes Świerkot, "We want to create tools that will help you plan and execute logistics, automate invoices, and create modules that will simplify worldwide tax settlements." Boring stuff, but those types of tasks can eat up a majority of your work time while being invisible to the larger world.

Here's a detailed example of one of Gamefound's changes:
A lot of creators outside of the European Union started to charge extra VAT for pledges in the EU. Today, after months of work, we are happy to announce that from next year, we will be making it possible for Gamefound to take care of EU VAT for companies outside of the EU.

What does this mean? In the first iteration, we will collect appropriate VAT in the pledge manager for customers from the EU and pay it to appropriate authorities. Then, we will provide the creator with a detailed list and confirmation of paid tax, as well as instructions on how to import products to the European Union once they will be ready for shipping from the HUB.

While this is the first iteration that we will be developing further, we hope it will already take some of the work from the hands of the creators and address this issue.

This one we are especially proud of, as the topic is REALLY complicated. Just imagine generating invoices for every order that can be modified, refunded, or changed during the pledge manager. This took a lot of complex rules to put in place, but hopefully will make life easier for a lot of creators!
Having heard just a smidgen from BGG's Beth Heile about the paperwork involved with VAT, this sounds like an ideal update to the service — a change that will obviate a lot of work on the part of the project creator and make the Gamefound service more appealing as a future crowdfunding option.

Perhaps Kickstarter is trying to leapfrog to a new system that will overcome current issues on the site, but the most common Kickstarter complaint I hear from game publishers is about their inability to moderate users who back a project at the lowest level, then spam the comment section with complaints and arguments before backing out just ahead of the project's end. While looking to the future, Kickstarter needs to ensure that it takes care of the present, too, or else it will find itself standing in that future alone.
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