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Subject: Need some serious advice about hosting a KS rss

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Bryan Gerding
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Okay I am in desperate need of some advice here.

Lots of backstory here, and I probably need to seek higher advice than a post on the internet, but here it goes.

I am an American citizen living in Poland. My friend wants to start a kickstarter for his board game, but Kickstarter doesn't allow Poles to do this. Therefore, he wanted to use me as a mediator. I would host it and when it is done I would send all the money to him (baring KS fee) and in return would earn 4% of the total amount.

1. What exactly am I getting myself into here. What all is involved? I'll need to host it and accept the money, then forward it, but what else?

2. How would taxes work? I don't make enough money over here to make American tax, but this isn't money earned in Poland. But it also isn't part of my income. Would I need to file this on my American tax report and pay on it (while still not paying on my Polish income)?

3. What sort of things do I need to be aware of and prepare for? Is this a bad idea?
 
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Terence Aries
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HeirToPendragon wrote:
Is this a bad idea?


Yes, probably. You could get into trouble with different tax collectors in different countries, you might get in an argument with your friend and you’d need to really, really be very good at keeping books.
Who would be liable for any problems? As it stands, probably you.

Has he looked at indiegogo?

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Joe Kundlak
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Exactly, he should check out Indiegogo (or perhaps a local polosh crowdfunding platform?).

I would not venture into such a Kickstarter had I not made some of my own before (especially being out of US).
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Daily Grind
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HeirToPendragon wrote:
3. What sort of things do I need to be aware of and prepare for? Is this a bad idea?

Go read all of this:
https://stonemaiergames.com/kickstarter/full-list-chronologi...
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Bryan Gerding
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cafin8d wrote:
HeirToPendragon wrote:
3. What sort of things do I need to be aware of and prepare for? Is this a bad idea?

Go read all of this:
https://stonemaiergames.com/kickstarter/full-list-chronologi...


Most of this wouldn't relate to me. As I said I'm only hosting it with my login.
 
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Josh E

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HeirToPendragon wrote:
Most of this wouldn't relate to me. As I said I'm only hosting it with my login.


On other words, you are legally responsible. I wouldn't do something like this without solid legal contacts in place in both countries.
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HeirToPendragon wrote:


Most of this wouldn't relate to me. As I said I'm only hosting it with my login.


If you do this and your friend just takes the money and runs, you will be legally responsible for the consequences.
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Shotgun Games
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HeirToPendragon wrote:
I am an American citizen living in Poland. My friend wants to start a kickstarter for his board game, but Kickstarter doesn't allow Poles to do this. Therefore, he wanted to use me as a mediator.

I would host it and when it is done I would send all the money to him (baring KS fee) and in return would earn 4% of the total amount.

Is this a bad idea?


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Dave J
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Basically, if you make money here in American, yes you would need to pay taxes. The Feds won't care if you're just hosting it for a friend.

Get a good lawyer to write a contract for you and your friend and get a tax accountant.

Long story short, if you value your friendship, it's a bad idea.
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Mike Watne
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HeirToPendragon wrote:
1. What exactly am I getting myself into here. What all is involved? I'll need to host it and accept the money, then forward it, but what else?


First, KS won't allow you to create a project by proxy, so you'll have to represent it as your own project - at least as far as identity verification and US documentation is concerned. Therefore, the income earned is attributable to your SSN and all liability between you and your backers per the KS ToS is on your shoulders. All the money you get is routed through an Amazon payments account, so that could get complicated as well. Fulfillment of KS projects is time consuming and costly, with many pitfalls for the uninitiated, and your backers will expect communication and (eventual) results, so expect no small amount of attention from those involved in all sides of the project. Your friend might be awesome, but how well do you really trust him when money, reputation, legal liability, and more are on the line in a world where you both have relatively little experience?

HeirToPendragon wrote:
2. How would taxes work? I don't make enough money over here to make American tax, but this isn't money earned in Poland. But it also isn't part of my income. Would I need to file this on my American tax report and pay on it (while still not paying on my Polish income)?


Absolutely. You'll receive a 1099-K from Amazon for all credit collections attributed to your SSN, and the IRS will absolutely expect you to report that as (likely self-employment) income. Just trying to flow the income through to your friend via a 1099, expensing everything but your 4% commission *might* work (I'm a CPA and have clients with vaguely similar business models), but documentation is key here and your friend's status as a Pole with no US tax identity will cause difficulties. I'm not an expert on Polish taxes, but you should absolutely look into their foreign income exclusions before you just assume that you can omit it from any Polish tax reports as well.


HeirToPendragon wrote:
3. What sort of things do I need to be aware of and prepare for? Is this a bad idea?


Check out the history and controversy surrounding Valley Games, Inc., particularly their track record with the Up Front debacle. Most of their issues actually sprouted from the fact that they were a Canadian company using a US-based shell to conduct their business (not unlike what your friend wants to do via you), and things got...complicated.


That's just the tip of an iceberg. The short version is "DON'T F*CKING DO IT!". The longer version involves you doing a LOT of homework and verrrrry carefully making sure you *personally* understand the risks and complications of the situation before you consider it any further, and then willfully making your own informed decision.

Good luck!
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Andrés Santiago Pérez-Bergquist
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And if, after all this advice, you do decide to proceed with this, you probably want to setup a US-based LLC and/or the Polish equivalent to help protect you financially from all the things that can go wrong here.
 
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cafin8d wrote:
HeirToPendragon wrote:
3. What sort of things do I need to be aware of and prepare for? Is this a bad idea?

Go read all of this:
https://stonemaiergames.com/kickstarter/full-list-chronologi...


We have all had the Stonemaier coolaid...
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