Hey folks, hope you’re all doing well in what seems to be last days of lockdown. On the one hand, it’ll be good to get back some semblance of normality and some freedom of movement. On the other, I remain firmly convinced that we’re going to see a second wave because a) people are dumb and are viewing “lifting some restrictions” as “party time USA”, and b) every pandemic always has a second wave. Seriously, look it up.
Speaking of dumb things, it seems that Patreon is going to stat collecting Sales Tax on all pledges, starting next month, so I wanted to reach out and make sure you’re across this. How much depends on your location; for most (possibly all?) of you, that means the 10% GST familiar to Australians. It could be worse; Norwegian patrons are getting whacked with a 25% VAT.
In truth, this almost sailed right past me because frankly I don’t earn enough to register for the GST, and so my understandable assumption was that this would not affect me at all.
Well, survey says no; you’re getting slugged for a tax I, technically, don’t have to pay, because this site, useful as it is (and believe me, the couple hundred a month this thing brings me is very, very welcome), has gone for a “one size fits all” approach.
To be fair, they’re trying to manage a global community of creators and patrons in all sorts of different economies and tax jurisdictions, so this approach is probably the best we can expect without blowing out the site overheads to the point where it’s just not feasible for anyone except the Amanda Palmers of the world, for whom Asking is not so much an Art but a Cult (I’m just jealous, and little baffled that the accordion and ukulele could be so profitable). So, basically, everyone’s financial exposure here just jumped up by 10%.
Which doesn’t sound like much, but we’re all more or less in Struggle Town these days. So if that’s a hit you can’t take, please don’t hesitate to adjust your pledge downwards ASAP, and I’ll invest in cheaper socks to strain my Sterno through. Feel no guilt; film criticism is by no means an essential service, and you can always buy me a beer next time you see me if you feel any pangs.
Couple quick answers to obvious questions:
1. No, I can’t opt out.
2. No, I can’t volunteer to cover the GST myself. There’s a legal reason there, and I honestly don’t have the mental juice to parse it right now. It is what it is.
In other news, the actual Celluloid and Whiskey website is getting a complete overhaul and should be live soon. I haven’t posted anything there since, oh, November? Most of my writing is on a for hire/freelance basis at the moment, so scribbling my own reviews at whim didn’t seem like a smart play when at any moment I could get a commission to write more or less the same thing but for actual money.
Still, I need some kind of permanent web presence where I can hock my talents, something separate from the Patreons, Facebooks, LinkedIns and what-have-yous of the world, so I ponied up for some hosting, got my good buddy Andrew of The Curb to do all the actual hard work, tried to pay Joe Kapiteyn of Red Room Designs to update the already excellent logo and artwork (he refused payment, the scoundrel), and soon it’ll be up all shiny and chrome, with hosted advertising I’ll probably have cause to be embarrassed about, and bunch of other bells and whistles to boot.
If you read my work primarily through Patreon, nothing will change for you, but it’s a useful bit of digital real estate for a jobbing writer like me, and if the ads cover the hosting and domain costs, I’ll be happy. Additionally, my weekly email newsletter will be starting up again soon. For now if you want in on that, which is mainly a weekly digest of links to my published work plus a few more odds and ends as they occur to me, let me know here and I’ll add you to the list. It is, to be fair, mostly what you get here.
Now, just to be useful I want to make sure you;re all across Beamafilm and Kanopy, two separate free streaming services keyed to your library membership. Got a library card? Click through, sign up, and you have bulk free movies. Right now Kanopy is hosting three films by the late, much missed Lynn Shelton, so if you want a taste of her excellent cinematic work, have at it.
Until next time, stay hoopy.