Posts by StevenGliebe

113 posts
  • Has been part of the Envato Community for over 4 years
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StevenGliebe says

Collis, thank you for responding to my third question. Please answer my second question too. Thank you.


While Envato is an Australian company… there are ways in which other countries and laws impact on us and our responsibilities.

2. I still need proof that an Australian company is required to file 1099’s with the IRS. Is there an Australian law requiring such compliance? My concern is the same as a dentist unnecessarily storing social security numbers. Plus, Envato may not need to report 1099-MISC depending on what they find out about 1099-K.

113 posts
  • Has been part of the Envato Community for over 4 years
  • Has referred 500+ members
  • Has sold $250,000+ on Envato Market
  • Has collected 50+ items on Envato Market
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StevenGliebe says

I have three thoughts:

we are working to understand better the options and obligations around areas such as duplicated 1099 reporting.

1. Thank you, this has been my primary concern as an American. I’m not comfortable handing over my tax information until it is proven this will be handled properly.

While Envato is an Australian company… there are ways in which other countries and laws impact on us and our responsibilities.

2. I still need proof that an Australian company is required to file 1099’s with the IRS. Is there an Australian law requiring such compliance? My concern is the same as a dentist unnecessarily storing social security numbers. Plus, Envato may not need to report 1099-MISC depending on what they find out about 1099-K.

our terms and licenses have expressed Envato Market as a platform with direct transactions between buyer and author

3. If it is true that authors are the sellers then that means authors in many (but not all) U.S. states are required to collect sales tax from customers who reside in their state.

- Has Envato looked into whether or not each of the 50 states will see it the same way as Envato does? I wonder if they see Envato as the seller, since Envato is collecting the payment or if they see the author as the seller simply because Envato says so.

- If any of the states agree with Envato, what are Envato’s plans for dealing with this? Authors are currently not able to collect sales tax.

- Lastly, if it proves true that authors are sellers, will authors be given full access to order/customer information and be able to process refunds at their discretion? If responsibility is going to be put on authors as sellers then authors need to be treated as true sellers. It should be an equal trade-off.

113 posts
  • Has been part of the Envato Community for over 4 years
  • Has referred 500+ members
  • Has sold $250,000+ on Envato Market
  • Has collected 50+ items on Envato Market
+4 more
StevenGliebe says


What I’m curious about and so far have not been able to get an answer on is how the law of one country can bind a business in a foreign country. Specifically, how and why is an Australian company is required to comply with U.S. law?
Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act
Perhaps Envato sees itself now as a financial institution :)

We shall receive interest then. More tax complications. ;-)

Seriously though, I assume there is something like what you referenced but that would apply to Envato’s business. I still hope to see an answer.

113 posts
  • Has been part of the Envato Community for over 4 years
  • Has referred 500+ members
  • Has sold $250,000+ on Envato Market
  • Has collected 50+ items on Envato Market
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StevenGliebe says

I know a few people have asked about 1099’s from PayPal. Most online payment providers issue these, I believe Skrill does as well for example. As always it’s a good idea to talk to your tax advisor about how your online income is attributed.

My tax advisor wants to know if you will be filing 1099-MISC forms for authors who have been paid exclusively by PayPal (who files 1099-K forms on the same income). Please refer again to this if necessary: http://themeforest.net/forums/thread/important-information-for-us-authors/144314?page=21#1133310

A lot of us have effectively paid tens and hundreds of thousands of dollars to Envato. I don’t expect everyone to like the answers so long as they’re accurate but every question does need to be fully answered. This is difficult to handle in a forum thread.

Thank you.

113 posts
  • Has been part of the Envato Community for over 4 years
  • Has referred 500+ members
  • Has sold $250,000+ on Envato Market
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StevenGliebe says



Nonetheless US federal tax law requires us to report to the IRS on income paid to US persons. Even though we’re an Australia-based company, this law still applies.
Please cite a source. I need to understand this.

This is definitely true. In the US, any money you make has to be reported so you should be doing this anyway, if you are not then it will come back to haunt you for certain. It’s called tax evasion and unfortunately is a federal crime in the States.

Envato reporting the earnings for US authors is simply a way of the US Government to verify and check up on any US author who is receiving money. As stated, the federal law requires any business to report earning to the IRS for any US persons.

For example, lets say “Joe” is an author here on TF who makes $5000 a month, but is not reporting it to the IRS. Envato will now be sending the earnings reports for all US authors so it will show that “Joe” has made $5000 a month from Envato. It is 100% Joe’s responsibility to be reporting those earnings to the IRS and paying his taxes, so everything should match up from Envato’s report to Joe’s report.

If you think about it, I’m honestly surprised that Envato has not done this in the past. I guess it is just the natural evolution of a marketplace that hosts over 4 million members, it had to be done at some point.

Cheers! Luke

This is good information but not an answer to my particular question. I’ve been paying taxes as a self-employed person for 12 years now and I’m aware of my responsibilities.

What I’m curious about and so far have not been able to get an answer on is how the law of one country can bind a business in a foreign country. Specifically, how and why is an Australian company is required to comply with U.S. law? For example, is there an Australian law that requires compliance? I only want Envato (or anybody) to cite a source because I have never seen this before and it seems as odd to me as a Japanese business being forced to deal with an Egyptian taxing agency (or every business in every country being under the law of every other country).

If there is a basis for this and my other questions are answered, I will gladly comply. If there is no actual requirement then I prefer not to unnecessarily have sensitive information on file (as with dentists, doctors, etc. who ask for more than they need) or risk having Envato double report 1099-MISC with 1099-K like so many other business do and for which I have not been able to get a clear answer on either.

113 posts
  • Has been part of the Envato Community for over 4 years
  • Has referred 500+ members
  • Has sold $250,000+ on Envato Market
  • Has collected 50+ items on Envato Market
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StevenGliebe says

Envato, you need to consider this. Don’t cause double reporting of income for U.S. people by filing 1099-MISC forms when not required. A lot of US business have been doing this incorrectly since 1099-K was introduced a couple years back.

Prior to the implementation of the 1099-K, many businesses were required to provide a 1099-MISC form to many of their suppliers if they did more than $600 in business together annually. If the transactions occurred through credit card or third-party processors, there is a possibility of these transactions being reported on both forms. The IRS has directed that any 1099-MISC payments that are reported on a 1099-K should be reported on the latter form only, and that a 1099-MISC need not be produced. However, in practice, many companies are still providing 1099-MISC forms…
https://turbotax.intuit.com/tax-tools/tax-tips/Small-Business-Taxes/What-Online-Business-Owners-Should-Know-About-IRS-Form-1099-K/INF23095.html

Many Envato authors and affiliates are paid exclusively by PayPal, which is a third-party processor and reports sales on 1099-K forms. Therefore, US authors and affiliates earning more than $600 that are paid only via PayPal should not have their earnings reported on 1099-MISC. If you do that, you’re creating a double-reporting issue.

I didn’t believe this myself last year until a US-based theme shop explained it to me and another US-based company acknowledged that they had reported my income incorrectly. The Intuit article explains it pretty clearly but you can see this on the 1099-MISC instructions too.

Form 1099-K. Payments made with a credit card or payment card and certain other types of payments, including third party network transactions, must be reported on Form 1099-K by the payment settlement entity under section 6050W and are not subject to reporting on Form 1099-MISC. See the separate Instructions for Form 1099-K
http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/i1099msc.pdf

Be very careful that you do things absolutely perfectly if somehow you actually are required to involve yourselves with the tax laws of other countries.

113 posts
  • Has been part of the Envato Community for over 4 years
  • Has referred 500+ members
  • Has sold $250,000+ on Envato Market
  • Has collected 50+ items on Envato Market
+4 more
StevenGliebe says

Nonetheless US federal tax law requires us to report to the IRS on income paid to US persons. Even though we’re an Australia-based company, this law still applies.

Please cite a source. I need to understand this.

113 posts
  • Has been part of the Envato Community for over 4 years
  • Has referred 500+ members
  • Has sold $250,000+ on Envato Market
  • Has collected 50+ items on Envato Market
+4 more
StevenGliebe says


if yahoo can’t fight this how you can expect enavto to do it?
But Envato is not US based.

Which raises the question, why is a company based outside of the U.S. requesting W-9’s from US residents.

113 posts
  • Has been part of the Envato Community for over 4 years
  • Has referred 500+ members
  • Has sold $250,000+ on Envato Market
  • Has collected 50+ items on Envato Market
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StevenGliebe says


Is Australia a colony of the US? Why should Envato care about IRS anyway?
They’re probably getting a US office and or moving some of the payment systems to the US…..

Did Collis confirm this? It’s the only sane reason I could see for a foreign company voluntarily dealing with the IRS when they are absolutely under no obligation to do so.

I’d love to see the whole of Envato move to the U.S.

113 posts
  • Has been part of the Envato Community for over 4 years
  • Has referred 500+ members
  • Has sold $250,000+ on Envato Market
  • Has collected 50+ items on Envato Market
+4 more
StevenGliebe says

If being based on Australia is steeping into the business maybe they should re-locate, don’t you think? If a company like Facebook were facing problems because of the country they are based in they would most likely move.

Envato might not see author controlled pricing as an advantage. I don’t know. That’s one of the things I’m wondering. It’d be nice to have insight from Collis or someone of Envato authority on this.

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