Kickstarter’s Potato Salad Guy Faces a $21,000 Tax Bill
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The Fiscal Times
July 9, 2014

It’s only been a few days since a top contender for the world’s most obnoxious Kickstarter rocketed to Internet fame, making a bland BBQ side dish one of the most discussed topics online, right alongside the World Cup, ISIS and the latest revelations about the NSA’s surveillance program.

You can thank Ohio native Zack “Danger” Brown for creating the now infamous potato salad Kickstarter, which has now raised more than $70,000 from about 5,000 donors (who presumably have nothing else to do with their money).

Related: Potato Salad Kickstarter Sprouts Up Thousands of Dollars

You read that right: 70 Grand in about three days…and Brown has several weeks to go until his fundraising campaign ends.

That’s a lot of dough for potato salad — but as the good people at the Tax Foundation point out, “Danger” Brown’s fundraising comes with some financial peril. The growing potato salad account is going to sprout up quite a hefty tax bill.

Since funds raised through the Kickstarter and similar sites are considered income (though some expenses are deductible if they are related to the project) the Tax Foundation estimates that if the campaign stopped right now, with a total of $70,912, Brown would have to pay about $21,000 in taxes on his hilarious Internet joke. That’s a lot of salad.

Here’s the Tax Foundation’s rundown, which includes some assumptions about Brown’s tax filing and the expenses he could deduct:

*Update: According to The Huffington Post,  the campaign lost nearly $30,000 on Thursday, since donors apparently began changing their minds and pulling their donations. On Wednesday evening Brown, had raised more than $70,000, on Thursday morning, that number had fallen to $43,984--which will, of course, mean a lower tax bill.

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Washington Correspondent Brianna Ehley, based in D.C., covers Congress, government agencies and spending issues, health care, and tax and economic policy for The Fiscal Times.