Patreon adds sales tax, VAT, or other similar taxes to Patron payments in parts of the United States and several other countries as required by law. Review which countries sales taxes apply to, here: List of locations where Patreon is collecting sales tax
Patreon is required by law to add sales tax (including VAT, GST, or other similar taxes) to some pledges made by patrons. Tax laws in many countries and US states have evolved in recent years to require online marketplaces such as Patreon to apply sales tax/VAT to transactions which take place via their platform.
The article and FAQs below include details about how sales tax applies to Patreon and what you need to know.
- Who will pay Sales Tax/VAT?
- About Sales Tax
- Details on Sales Tax
- Where is Patreon collecting tax, and what are the tax rates?
Who will pay sales tax?
Whether or not you will pay sales tax/VAT as a patron depends on where you are located, and what benefits the creators you support are providing. The laws and tax rates in effect in your country of residence will be applied whenever you pledge to a creator through Patreon, whether that’s monthly, annually, or per thing, if the benefits offered are taxable in your location.
If Patreon is charging sales tax in your location, an additional line item will be listed on your receipt. Since tax laws and rates vary from country to country and state to state, the amount will be different for different patrons. The tax that Patreon collects as a result of these laws will be paid directly to your local government, and there are no Patreon fees on this portion of your payment.
About sales tax
Should sales tax apply to Patreon? Is supporting a creator on Patreon the same as making a purchase?
Different jurisdictions will consider different things taxable. If you receive a benefit in return for your pledge, it is likely that it will be subject to tax. For example, many places have passed laws that make streaming content taxable so in those places and platforms, streaming video and audio would be subject to tax.
If you are not receiving any benefits, the payment may not be taxable. For example, if you pledged an amount in excess of your set tier price, or you have given a pledge that falls outside of a set tier, your pledge could be deemed to not have any benefits associated with it.
One notable exception is the EU, where we are currently required to apply tax (VAT) on all payments regardless of whether the patron is receiving any benefits. We are working with EU tax authorities to secure reductions and exemptions for support-based payments in the future.It is also useful to remember that different jurisdictions approach digital content differently and what one country deems a benefit may not be consistent with the views of another country.
I thought sales tax was only applicable on tangible goods?
The laws about what is taxable vary by location, but in many places, digital goods and content are now taxable, both downloadable and sometimes streaming.
What about if I support a creator without pledging to a specific tier?
Some patrons may decide to pledge outside of your set tiers. For example, you may have pledged an amount above the set tier price or the creator has given you the option to pledge without receiving pledge benefits. In many jurisdictions, this amount would be akin to a “tip” and treated as non-taxable. However, in other jurisdictions is not possible to treat this “tip” as not taxable.
Supporting a creator on Patreon can be similar to making a purchase if the patron simply wants a way to pay money for content or tangible items you’re offering. But many patrons are also motivated by the idea of supporting content/art they care about. Since memberships can include both motivations, creators can use advanced tax settings to tell us how much supporting their work is a motivation for patrons by using categories such as "general support."
Can creators absorb the cost of sales tax so that it’s not an additional charge for the patron?
Some creators would prefer this and we wish we could provide this option, but in most jurisdictions, we are not legally allowed to include sales tax in the pricing. It must be broken out as a separate line item and added on top of the base price.
I thought sales tax was only applicable on tangible goods?
The laws about what is taxable vary by location, but in many places digital goods and content are now taxable.
Details on Sales Tax: How it works in different regions and how that applies to Patreon
Which benefits on Patreon will be considered taxable?
Outside of the United States, it is common for all electronically supplied services and physical goods to be subject to tax. Within the United States, what’s taxable varies greatly by location. As a rough guide, we’ve broadly sorted benefits into 5 categories that are each taxed differently.
|Typical Benefit Type||Examples||U.S. Status|
|Donations/Support||Support only. Languages such as "pledges whatever"||Currently exempt from Sales Tax in the majority of states|
|Recognition||Shout-outs, names in credits||Exempt in the vast majority of states|
|Exclusive Community Access||Patron-only posts, Discord, server access, polls||Taxable in roughly half the states|
|Streaming Content||Extra podcast episode per month, videos, bonus content||Taxable in roughly half the states|
|Downloadable Digital Goods||PDFs, computer game builds, downloaded color pages||Taxable in roughly half the states|
|Physical Goods||Candles, T-shirts, mugs, mailed coloring pages||Taxable in all states in which Patreon is collecting, unless the item is a one-time thank-you gift|
Where is Patreon collecting tax, and what are the tax rates?
Patreon continues to monitor laws governing the sale of online content and creation and will continue to update our platform to ensure sales and pledges made through Patreon comply with local tax laws.
|Country||What sales tax is called||Tax Rate|
|Canada (Alberta)||Federal GST||
|Canada (British Columbia)||PST + Federal GST||7% + 5%|
|Canada (Manitoba)||RST + Federal GST||7% + 5%|
|Canada (New Brunswick)||Federal HST||15%|
|Canada (Newfoundland and Labrador)||Federal HST||15%|
|Canada (Northwest Territories)||Federal GST||5%|
|Canada (Nova Scotia)||Federal HST||15%|
|Canada (Nunavut)||Federal GST||5%|
|Canada (Ontario)||Federal HST||13%|
|Canada (Prince Edward Island)||Federal HST||15%|
|Canada (Quebec)||QST + Federal GST||9.975% + 5%|
|Canada (Saskatchewan)||PST + Federal GST||6% + 5%|
|Canada (Yukon)||Federal GST||5%|
|EU||VAT||Varies by country - see EU Vat list below|
|United States||Sales Tax (see list of States where Patreon is collecting Sales Tax below)||Varies by State/Zip code|
* In certain jurisdictions, a reduced rate of tax may apply to certain supplies such as digital publications (e.g. ebooks). Those rates are not listed here.
** To comply with local laws, there are some countries or regions where we do not charge VAT/GST to patrons who are supporting a creator located in the same country as them. However, if those patrons support creators in other countries, they may still be charged VAT/GST on those pledges if the benefits they receive are taxable in their country. Such regions where we do not apply VAT on pledges made intra-jurisdictionally include: Belarus, Quebec, and Australia. For more details about this, please refer to this section: Sales Tax FAQs for Australian creators and patrons
|States where Patreon collects sales tax||States where Patreon does not collect sales tax|
|California||New York||New Hampshire|
|District of Columbia||Ohio|
What is the rate being charged?
As referenced above, whether you are taxed, and at what rate, depends on both your location and the types of benefits the creator is providing in the tier you have pledged to.
Within the United States, rates currently range from 4% to 11%. To make things more complex, some locations tax certain things while others don’t (e.g. - “physical goods” vs. “digital downloads” vs. “digital streaming”). Outside of the United States, rates range from 5% to 25% in the countries where Patreon will charge and pay sales tax.
It is important to understand that tax rates and rules change frequently. Patreon partners with local experts to ensure that you are taxed at the current rate for your location and the benefits being provided.
Will more states/countries start requiring Patreon to charge sales tax in the future?
Yes, it's very likely. We expect more states and countries will attempt to pass similar laws or regulatory changes in the future. We are constantly monitoring our and creator obligations and will keep this page up to date and with as much warning as possible.
How will US Sales tax work for a creator that charges ‘per thing’?
Sales tax applies to each transaction. For patrons that pay per thing, if they are in a location that requires sales tax, and the thing the creator offers is taxable in their location, they will find sales tax applied to each monthly transaction where the creator posted a ‘thing’ during that month and the patron paid for it.
Is there a way I can find out how much sales tax is being collected on my pledges?
Yes. While logged in, click on the Settings button from the left navigation and then click on the More dropdown to select Billing history. Click the Billing Details button for an individual pledge to see how much sales tax, VAT, or similar tax was applied.
Should patrons in Australia that support a creator in Australia be charged GST?
We’ve been in touch with tax authorities in Australia to help clarify this point, and we’ve updated our help articles to make it clear that we will not apply GST on pledges from patrons in Australia who support creators in Australia. However, if those patrons support creators in other countries, they may still be charged GST on those pledges if the benefits they receive are taxable in Australia.