Smart TaxesSmart Taxes

Kickstarter's potato salad guy faces a $21,000 tax bill

With a tax hit like that, it had better be some pretty delicious potato salad.

By Money Staff Jul 10, 2014 1:33PM

This post comes from Brianna Ehley at partner site The Fiscal Times.

The Fiscal Times on MSN MoneyIt’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.

Zack Danger Brown’s potato salad Courtesy of Zack Brown via Facebook, 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).

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:

Courtesy of The Fiscal Times

More from The Fiscal Times


Jul 10, 2014 7:37PM

i think everyone who contributed to him should pay an idiot tax!


Jul 10, 2014 7:07PM
So he clears about 45,000 bucks for not doing much at all? I bet he cries all the way to the bank....
Jul 10, 2014 8:01PM

You can make a lot of potato salad for almost $5000 in expenses. Hope he has a good party.

In the first story he was quoted as trying to get $10, so he should be happy with $44000.

Jul 11, 2014 12:09AM
Those idiots who gave this guy money should not be allowed to breed.
Jul 10, 2014 7:42PM
What a crock.  The greedy government has their hand out at every opportunity.  There is a story on the home page here about a girl who raised $40,000 at GoFundMe so she could continue college after her mother died.  Will she owe income taxes on that money raised too?
Jul 11, 2014 9:01AM
the IRS they have what it takes, to take what you have!
Jul 11, 2014 3:09AM
Jul 11, 2014 9:54AM
thats our government for you,  tax,tax,tax.   and people wonder why it is sooooooo hard to get a business up and going and keep it running. big brother regulating everyhing and taxing everything just to pay for their stupid spending sprees.... whats next a 3.7 billion dollar expense for illegals??? 
Jul 11, 2014 12:46AM
Why the payroll tax burden?  He doesn't seem to have any w-2 employees. 
Jul 11, 2014 10:01AM
Jul 10, 2014 8:37PM
Yep!  The tax man cometh.  If anyone would read ALL the small print on the Kickstarter site, you will learn that taxes ARE COLLECTED on these funds you are given.  Don't know until the end of the year what all he can claim as an expense to this project that would be a tax deduction.....I would never assume as has been done in this article.
Jul 11, 2014 12:44AM
If I were him I'd ask these dumba$$es for the money to pay my taxes too.
Jul 11, 2014 10:26AM
The potato salad recipe is Lois Lerner's...
Jul 11, 2014 8:45AM
This happens all throughout America each and every day so what is the big deal? Tax people get your hopes and dreams and you get OBAMA! Remember it is what many of you ask for.
Jul 11, 2014 11:31AM
And these idiots in this administration think taxes should be raised!!!  Duh
Jul 11, 2014 12:49PM
Jul 11, 2014 10:50AM
I have a mini fridge next to my bed and it is always full of potato salad for me and beer for Roland of course. I've noticed there is always more beer than potato salad. Not fair! I love potato salad :(
Jul 10, 2014 7:15PM
So, what's your point?  Besides a misplaced decimal point.
Jul 11, 2014 11:09AM
I call BS - no way is $50K of income going to have an effective tax rate of 32%
Jul 11, 2014 1:12PM
Where do they come up with payroll burden, he has no employees and there is no FICA due on the income if he is filing a Schedule C.  He is still ahead of the game and it is his bad luck if his city and state have income taxes.
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