Sales Tax settings feedback

I just finished setting up my sales tax stuff. I found it overwhelming and confusing, and I’m still not sure if I’m satisfied with what I just did. I wanted to offer a jumble of feedback on the process in the hopes this UI could be improved in the future.

  • When I clicked through from the email, about a minute into setting up my taxes I got a modal popover asking me to “Get started”. I realised this was an unintended effect of a nag you’re sending out to all patreon creator pageviews, but I suspect some people lost their first minute of work by clicking “Get started” assuming it was a weird part of the sales tax settings UI!
  • Each tier should let me know tax info has been set for it. I have a lot of legacy unpublished tiers and got confused quick. Even now I’m not totally sure I set tax info for every tier!
  • The “Category” dropdown in the Edit Benefit popover should give me some examples! “Tangible good (e.g. a regular sticker in the mail)”, and try to disambiguate community admission and access… things like that? It doesn’t seem very friendly.
  • I think it would also be nice if you moved the info buried in the table here into this interface: have each benefit say “Exempt in majority of states” or “Taxable in roughly half the states”, etc.
  • Please make it clear whether benefit names show to the patron or to tax authorities. This gave me some anxiety and I still don’t know.
  • The copy in “Once you add at least two benefits, you can adjust how much each benefit is worth for sales tax purposes.” confused me. At first, for a tier with only one benefit, it implied to me that I cannot set up sales tax info for a tier unless it has two benefits! Only later did I realise this section in “Advanced” is for apportionment only. I think this was made worse by the way you set up your benefit tiers in advanced, but after reloading the tier page, the benefits appear in the not-advanced section… another good reason to abolish “advanced” sections in UIs IMO :slight_smile:
  • I would really really appreciate some kind of tax preview that updates as I reapportion benefit values. I know that’s harder than it sounds. I’d do it like… “This tier’s most populous state is MA. This is what a MA resident would pay, approximately.”
  • If we’re going to use the Benefits system to do this, you really need to add an option to make benefits auto-complete. Now my benefits page is littered todos for automatically-completed benefits like Discord server invites and behind-the-scenes post access.
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Seconded on adding options for automatic benefits. I don’t like having to use benefits to sort this out, as now I have “495 benefits waiting to be fulfilled” in like 7 categories, but they’re all automatic things. Even managing benefits as a thing separate from tiers, and then assigning them to tiers as appropriate would be good.

One other idea with that, instead of doing this percentage matter, benefits could be assigned a “weight”, and then it calculates what percentage the benefit makes up for each tier it’s assigned to. E.g., if you have benefits that are a commission with a weight of 40, and early access with a weight of 10, if you have a tier that just has early access, that would just be 10/10, or 1, meaning 100%. For a tier with the commission and the early access both, it’d be 10/50, or 20%. It would save so much time assigning perks and benefits. Otherwise, anyone with more than 3 tiers has a very hard time assigning benefits and weighting them properly.

Also seconded on more examples. I don’t see mention of whether early access fits into tax, which is the biggest benefit on my page.

1 Like

I’m not sure if it’s just me, but I also seem to have lost any ability to control whether a benefit is listed as “monthly” or “one-time.” In updating tiers for the taxes element, I had to add several for accuracy. Some were automatically set as monthly, some were automatically set as one-time, and I can’t find any way to adjust the frequency of either new or old ones now—only the “title” and “category.”

I also found it overwhelming and more than once I couldn’t find the button to add more benefits, even when I had already done it a couple of times. Turned out it was called “Browse more benefits” but it didn’t actually contain a visible button so my brain just skipped over it.

This please. I don’t use benefits because they’re too inflexible for my needs and now seeing every single thing I added to my tiers as an benefit that needs to be fulfilled or marked completed is not the kind of thing I need. Would be good if the notification dot disappeared since I don’t intend to use benefits at all.

Like I get why these new benefits appear there after adding them to the tiers but I ONLY added them for the sales tax reason and I don’t actually want them as benefits. That is just not how I use Patreon.

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I got through it okay, but equating “benefit” (Patreon-created todo list for the creators) with “benefit” (sales tax categorization for a portion of a tier’s value)… it’s going to generate a ton of garbage todo entries, making the todo list kinda pointless.

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It would be really handy to be able to edit benefits from a list of benefits, instead of drilling into each tier to find them all.

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I didn’t use the benefits page for many reasons and i see it really hasn’t improved since i stopped using it a long while ago…

  • Cannot delete old benefits that are no longer relevant.

  • Not even an archive. When you tell folks to switch up their tiers and pages regularly and don’t have a way to archive stuff that is no longer relevant… It’s just cluttering up the page and making it impossible to manage.

  • One of my benefits refuses to stay available in the “my benefits” section when adding a new one while editing tiers (I’m using firefox). I edited some previously made benefits to work around it but of course it’s not a work around because now it’s listed multiple times in the benefits page which is terrible.


  • And still, no way to sort these by MONTH. Having benefits with hundreds of needs fulfilled in it is not great visually. At the very least, they should tell you which ones need to be DONE. Not ALL of them that have ever existed. Holy moly.

  • No way to assign benefits as “AUTOMATED” “MANUAL” or even set how often it needs to be fulfilled. This was a huge request when benefits first came out and that this isn’t implemented is so frustrating.

We all have no choice but to use the benefits because of the sales tax now. I did not want to use it as i can customize my own lists much better than this feature, outside of patreon. Now that I’m being forced to use it, it’s incredibly frustrating that there has been no evolution of the feature in 2 years. (It was released jun of 2018 and that initial thread and the previous feedback has a lot of these issues brought up…) I’m pretty much going to be stuck just ignoring the benefits page as best i can when the site tells me there’s stuff i need to check there -all the time- (when i tried it before. No pay period has passed this time so i’ve got nothing atm.)

5 Likes

In the section to adjust the value of each benefit for calculating the sales tax, there is a link to a help article (i.e. Learn more).

When I follow this “Learn more” link, https://support.patreon.com/hc/en-us/articles/360041031072 , I’m asked to log into Patreon again but my credentials are not accepted (“Email address / password combination is incorrect”) even though they work elsewhere on the site and I’m already logged in everywhere.

Wait what? Where do you have that option? I don’t see it anywhere.

Also, just registered here to say what others already said that equating tax options to active benefits is just… really bad.

My entire Patreon is about passive income via support, I don’t have anything that’s “given” or “delivered”. The only benefit I had was a “mention/thank them when I upload new personal art into my public gallery” but I was considering deleting that too since it’s not a monthly thing and it makes no sense to have to check it off as if it was.

Now I would have to have at least one “benefit” for every tier that I’ll have to check off every month for absolutely no reason.

Then there is also the thing that many of them are confusing/ambiguous and I have no idea which one should I select, or more importantly, what do they actually do?

For example, if rarely and randomly I upload sketches that are really worthless things and I normally never shared them with anyone but thought my supporters may enjoy seeing them since they are the people who care about my art. You can see them with my lowest tier, and that’s pretty much the only thing it does. So what would I select for this? “Ongoing support”? Or is it supposed to be “Exclusive content”? Again, the ability to see those sketches has a monetary value of zero.

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I have never used the Benefits screen, nor did I plan to in the future, because the majority of my rewards are passive. I don’t actually have to do anything, and yet, this morning, I have 49 benefits that need to be checked off, for general support.

It’s not a good system if it’s just adding more work for creators.

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Hi @StormEngineer. It sounds like your membership is primarily about patrons supporting your work. In this case you can simply add General Support as the only benefit which is non taxable in the vast majority of locations. Then you won’t need to check off anything in the Benefits tracker. Hope this helps!

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Hey folks,

I wanted to thank you for all for the very helpful feedback you provided on our sales tax tools, and rest assured, we’re listening! Lots of the feedback touched on Benefits Tracker being not as useful as it could be and we’re working on identifying ways we can improve that part of the product in the future.

In the short term, we’re working on making some usability improvements to adding benefits, deleting benefits, and making it easier for creators to add the General Support benefit if their membership is mainly support-based. We’re also making some improvements to how benefits that are added for sales tax purposes are being tracked within Benefit tracker to give you more control over what is tracked and what is not.

We’re aiming to ship some improvements based off this feedback over the next few weeks, as quickly as possible.

Thank you so much for your feedback and for your patience while we work to make the experience better. Stay tuned for more updates soon!

6 Likes

2 posts were merged into an existing topic: Sales Tax AMA with Jack Conte

By far, the most useful thing would be a system so we don’t have to edit every single tier to edit the benefits.

A means to rapidly tick which tier gets which benefit, and have the benefits created separately of the tiers page, would be significantly easier to use.

2 Likes