An important note about your subscription
The (Sales) Tax Man cometh.
Greetings, On Montlake subscribers.
It turns out the reporting and writing part of this job doesn’t change much when you go independent, but you sure do learn a lot, otherwise — like how to calculate a home office deduction, or precisely how many trips I make from Tacoma to Husky Stadium and back in a given season …
… and, unfortunately, that a subscription to a UW football newsletter is considered a “digital product” in the state of Washington, and that all such purchases are subject to retail sales tax.
Some lessons are more fun to learn than others.
Unfortunately, I have received guidance that all subscriptions to On Montlake sold to readers in the state of Washington should be assessed sales tax, just as you’d pay on any tangible product you might purchase from a store.
What does this mean for you? It’s pretty simple: if you live in Washington state, you will pay sales tax on your subscription in accordance with the billing ZIP code on your credit card. Stripe, which Substack uses to process payments, will add the tax automatically based on that ZIP code.
This change will apply to all new and existing subscriptions (i.e. monthly and annual renewals, as they come up) for Washington residents going forward. Your emailed receipt from Substack should include a link that will take you to an itemized version which displays the tax charge.
To be clear, this isn’t a money grab, and I won’t see an extra dime myself. Because Substack offers zero assistance with sales tax, it’s on me, the small-business owner (still getting used to that), to collect and remit it to the state.
In other words, I’m merely complying with the state’s retail sales tax laws. I hope you understand and continue to support my work.
This change is set to take effect on Tuesday, Feb. 13, likely in the evening. I wanted to give you some notice before you see those monthly subscription renewals increase by 70-90ish cents, depending on your billing ZIP code, or before you Day 1 annual subscribers see your subscriptions renewed with sales tax added.
Please reach out with any questions, or if you run into any technical hiccups once the tax goes into effect.
Thanks again for your continued support. On Montlake’s first year was a resounding success, and it’s all because of you.
— Christian Caple, On Montlake