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Understanding Your Kickstarter 1099-K

Last Updated:
December 9, 2016

The deadline for receiving your 1099-K form from Stripe for your Kickstarter transactions is Tuesday, January 31st, 2017. You may even receive it before then. Payable is the service working with Stripe (Kickstarter's payments provider) to deliver 1099 tax forms to Creators this year. We put together this quick guide to help you better understand your 1099 and what it means for taxes.

What is a 1099-K?

There are over 15 different types of 1099 forms used by companies to report payments to individuals or other companies. This is how the IRS knows how much in taxes it can expect  come April. The 1099-K is used by Payment Settlement Entities or Third Party Payment Networks (like Stripe, which Kickstarter uses to help process the funds you raise) to report payments between people donating to your project and you.

In most cases, the funds raised on Kickstarter and reported on your 1099-K are considered income and subject to income taxes. But you are able to write off expenses to lower the amount you are taxed on. For example, if you had marketing expenses, production expenses, or payments to subcontractors or any other expenses for your project, you can likely write those off. The Schedule C is the form used to count your individual income and expenses from your project. The IRS provides a helpful list of deductions in the instructions to the Schedule C.

It’s highly recommended that you speak with a tax professional to understand your particular tax obligation as it can vary based on your project type and whether you are an incorporated business or individual.

Why did I get a 1099-K?

You’ll receive a 1099-K via Payable and Stripe for funds raised on Kickstarter if you raised over $20,000 and received over 200 payments.

If I didn’t get a 1099, do I still need to report funds raised through Kickstarter?

Yes, even if you didn’t receive a 1099-K for Kickstarter funds, you will need to report the funds you raised to the IRS.

What do I do with my 1099-K?

First, check the form for accuracy and make sure your name, address, SSN or EIN are all correct. Make sure the payment amounts reported are also correct.

If you’ve had several successful projects on Kickstarter, we aggregate the funds raised across all projects and report that amount on one 1099-K.

What if the gross payments reported don’t match how much I raised?

Don’t worry -- Stripe is required to report the total amount paid out before fees were extracted. When you report the funds raised on Kickstarter you’ll count the fees as an earning and an equal expense. That means you’ll count the Kickstarter fee and the payment processing fee as an earning and then also the same amount as a business expense so you won’t be taxed for that fee.

Make sure you know your fundraising total after Kickstarter and payment processing fees have been deducted.

Here’s what the form will look like:

kickstarter 1099

What is Kickstarter’s connection to Payable?

Stripe facilitates payments for the funds raised on Kickstarter. This year, Stripe partnered with Payable to generate and deliver 1099s to Creators using the payments data on Stripe.

Payable is a dashboard for managing and paying independent contractors. We also provide a 1099 tax service.

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