Patreon Update: Tax Time

In case you haven’t heard, Patreon will start charging sales tax to patrons. This all depends on where the patron lives and what sort of benefits are being offered under an individual Patreon campaign. Patreon doesn’t really have much choice in the matter, it’s all determined by the local tax codes of where a patron lives. Also, what is considered taxable is determined by where the patron lives.
It’s up to the creators to do their best and guess the value of any benefits to patrons. Patreon has admitted that there will take the risk of something is supposed to be taxed and creator doesn’t set their advanced tax settings correctly. That part is a good thing. But here’s the part that starts to really bug me. In some places, apparently, early access to a podcast is taxable. If a creator gives away PDF, well, that’s still taxable for some mystery amount. And god only knows what else. At least from what has been said so far, “general support” and shout-outs still aren’t taxed.
I know there a few very successful Patreons that are almost like a private little store front. They’re shipping out T-Shirts and god only knows what else. These items are easy to put a value on. I feel there’s no way that I can fairly put some sort of arbitrary value on a podcast episode or even a little one-page PDF. My goal with Patreon was never to “make” money. Not even beer and pizza money. The goal is still to just make enough to pay for the web hosting of the blog and who knows, maybe a new microphone for the podcast.
So with that, I’m going to be redoing the Patreon in a manner that isn’t going to cause Patrons to be needlessly (IHMO) taxed on what I provide. I’m going to reassess the goals and the tiers. Since I’m basically using it as a tip jar, I’m also exploring other options such as KoFi and Buy Me A Coffee. Like I said before, I’m not out to make a bunch of money but giving potential Patrons other options is a good thing. And I’m going to look at the Patreons that I personally back and see what I might get taxed on.
Thanks and let’s back to rolling some dice.

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