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Funds raised on Kickstarter are generally subject to taxes. How much you owe can vary based on a number of factors, including the deduction of project-related expenses. We highly recommend talking to an accountant or tax advisor. They can guide you through your particular tax scenario in the most advantageous way possible.
While we can't offer tax advice, we have compiled a guide for financial professionals who may not be familiar with Kickstarter.
Stripe, our payments partner, handles transactions conducted through Kickstarter. They are responsible for filing and mailing 1099-K's for all US-based creators who meet both of the following thresholds in the current tax year:
In general, no. However, some US projects started by or with a 501(c)(3) organization may offer tax deductions. If so, this will be touted on the project page. If you have questions about tax deductions, please contact the project creator directly.
As the merchant of record, our payment processor, Stripe, issues all 1099-Ks for Kickstarter creators. Calculations are based on when an authorized project’s backings are transacted (i.e. the project deadline date), not on the project payout date. The payout date occurs 14 days after the project deadline date.
This is especially important to keep in mind if your project deadline date occurs at the end of the year, with your project payout date occurring early the following year. In these cases, please note that your 1099-K will report earnings based on the year of your project deadline date, and not on the year of the payout date.
Creators who ran a project in the current tax year which meet the thresholds outlined here will receive a Form 1099-K in the mail on behalf of Stripe, our payments provider.
If you have not received a 1099-K by February 15th, or if you lost your copy or think the information on your form is incorrect, please reach out to our Support team here.
As with all projects, it's important to look at our rules before getting started. Nonprofits and charitable organizations are welcome to use Kickstarter, but funds raised on Kickstarter cannot be used for charity. Instead, projects should focus on what's being created. Kickstarter cannot provide advice about taxes, including how to provide tax deductions to backers. Creators should contact a lawyer or financial professional for any tax-related questions.
US-based creators: All the names on all accounts (including the Kickstarter account and bank and credit card accounts) must be in the organization’s name.
If you're not running the project as a nonprofit, but instead working with a 501(c)(3) fiscal sponsor, be sure that your account details (specifically, the 'Account' tab of your project) is set up by the 501(c)(3). You must also include details about the organization on the project page.
If your account is registered by a confirmed 501(c)(3) organization, you may have the ability to offer full or partial tax deductions to backers.
UK-based creators: In general, CICs and other UK nonprofits will not be able to offer tax deductions to backers.
Canada-based creators: Project creators in Canada may be able to offer tax deductible pledges if certain requirements are met (e.g., the funding goes to a registered Canadian charity).
Australia-based creators: Project creators in Australia may be able to offer tax deductible pledges if certain requirements are met (e.g., the funding goes to a registered Deductible Gift Recipient, endorsed by the ATO or listed by name in the income tax law).
New Zealand-based creators: Project creators in New Zealand may be able to offer tax deductible pledges if certain requirements are met (e.g., the funding goes to a registered Donee organization).
Netherlands, Ireland, and Scandinavia-based creators: For tax deduction questions or other specifics, please contact a lawyer or financial professional.
Hong Kong-based creators: For the purposes of Personal Assessment, Salaries Tax and Profits Tax and subject to certain limitations, a deduction is granted for donations of money to charitable institutions or trusts of a public character which are exempt from tax under section 88 or to the Government for charitable purposes.
This information is required for 1099-k tax forms and will make sure Stripe has everything they need to quickly and correctly send all forms at tax season.
As tax liability varies from country to country, providing rewards to a backer based in a specific region might create a VAT liability for you. Please note that Kickstarter does not withhold VAT. Ensuring that VAT is correctly accounted for on these transactions is the responsibility of each individual project creator.