Upcoming price increase for new plans (*not* existing plans)

Hi All,

As I’ll explain further down, due to several changes in tax codes (resulting in notably higher taxes for us), an increase in payment processor fees, and a need for more CPA services to handle the updated tax laws, our rates for NEW supporter plans will be going up starting next month.

To clarify and reiterate, if you currently have a plan, or if you sign up before next month, your prices will not change for the life of that subscription.

So, if you think you’ll ever want to be a supporter and get those awesome AI reviews, now is a good time to lock in your price! To sign up, simply head to https://online-go.com/supporter and click the sign up button for the plan you’d like.


The rest of this post is just details about the changes that we’re dealing with for those that are curious.

Tax law: As of July 1st 2021, Europe enacted a zero-threshold tax law, meaning for us if we take in 5 euro from a country in Europe, we need to pay VAT taxes (which is usually ~20-25% depending on the country) on that 5 euro, and more of a big deal for us, file quarterly with them and do all the accountant stuff associated with paying international taxes. Europe isn’t alone in doing this, it turns out (:sweat_smile:) there are several countries that have adopted that strategy over the past few years, and several US state level changes as well, making it quite a headache for a small business like OGS. This is a notable change from before when you only had to worry about paying taxes if you made over a certain amount, say 10,000 euro or whatever from any given country, which we never hit because we’re just not that big.

So, we’re a small business with big business international tax problems, and I have learned more about the specifics of taxes in more countries than I ever wanted to (which, to be fair, would have been zero countries). However, I think we’ve got a decent grip on things these days, but our tax burden has gone up notably as has our costs associated with CPAs and the like to make sure we’re doing everything by the book.

In addition to this, it seems that the payment processor industry (at least both Stripe and PayPal) decided to increase rates a bit the second half of last year, so for every transaction we’re now paying more. Moreover, for several (but not all) non US/EU countries we’re needing to switch to a Merchant of Record (Paddle.com, which both deals with payments and taxes), which takes a larger cut than either Stripe or PayPal (understandably, because taxes are a pain). (If you get a note from us in the next week or two about needing to cancel your current subscription and re-signup under the new Merchant of Record, you’re not alone, you’re just from a country that has burdensome tax laws that make it so it would cost more in taxes and CPA fees than we actually collect from that country. By going through the Merchant of Record, they take care of doing the taxes for us, at the unfortunate cost of forcing everyone from those countries to re-signup. I apologize in advance for making you go through that… if there was a way to make that automatic, believe me I would have done it.).

Anyways, the sum of all of these changes is we’re going to increase the prices of our supporter plans starting in February. (Again, that only applies to new subscriptions, if you already have one or sign up before February, you’re “grandfathered” in at whatever you’re currently paying until canceled.)

And lastly, thanks for all the support, financial and otherwise, y’all have provided over the years. It’s been a lot of fun helping create the site, and it’s only been possible because of the support you’ve given, so truly thank you, and I look forward to the years ahead (even if it involves dealing with international taxes :wink: )

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How much are the prices going to increase? I couldn’t find this information in your message.

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Not a simple answer as it depends a bit on the plan, country, and currency but in the neighborhood of 10-20%, ish.

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How do you lock in your current price rate? I’m not finding a prompt or anything.

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Sorry that wasn’t clear, there’s nothing special you need to do - if you’re signed up by Feb 1 you’re all set, we’re not raising rates for any existing subscriptions at that point, just new sign ups after then.

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I was planning to buy a subscription someday, but I guess now is the time! lol

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If someone changes plans and/ or has to switch to Paddle, is January calculated automatically as paid and subscription starts February 1st or January will be counted twice?

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If you’re upgrading (or downgrading for that matter), let me know and I’ll manually reimburse you (I don’t have an automatic way to prorate the difference yet unfortunately, but I’m happy to do that for anyone).

For those that we need to move to Paddle for tax purposes, my plan was to offer a few months free for the hassle of transitioning, and deal with any annual plans manually. I’ll also be refunding any charges that have happened since the start of the year anyways, so it’s self solving for a lot of cases.

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Follow up question: is there an approximate list of countries that will need to move to Paddle?

I wouldn’t want to have to cancel once to switch and then again to move (if it turns out I have to), I’d rather wait and do it once.

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I don’t have the list in front of me, however the new billing system should automatically present you with a button that opens Paddle when we detect your country as being one we need to use Paddle in, so if you don’t see that, then you’re not from one of those countries.

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OK I’m covered. :+1:t2::slightly_smiling_face:

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Where is the subscription page? Can’t find it anywhere.

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Supporter (subscription) page: https://online-go.com/supporter

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As someone in the USA, there seems to be several different payment methods available, as well as an option to pay monthly or annually.

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Which option is most tax/fee-efficient from your perspective? Not caring about any of the perks, if I wanted to just send X dollars, which method/frequency for payment puts the most money actually into your pocket rather than being taken for fees and taxes?

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I second this :heart: (though from outside America)

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It’s not a huge difference, so please do whatever is most comfortable or convenient for you - however the answer to the question is for the Hane plan, PayPal is slightly less expensive for the monthly plan, for Tenuki both stripe and PayPal are pretty much identical, and for everything above and all annual plans, Stripe (the purple button) is a little cheaper than PayPal. There’s no difference for the payment methods beyond that for us though. And tax wise it’s all the same.

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Any plans to accept crypto? I don’t personally have any ever since Keybase got bought by Zoom and I donated all my stellar to The Tor Project, but given that gamers and programmers make up a large portion of the crypto fanbase, I imagine at least some of our users would prefer to pay this way if it were offered… is that something you’ve looked into? Or are you waiting for it to be requested before you add that extra hurdle to jump?

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Ask me again when I’ve done something not related to writing billing systems for awhile :wink:

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If you didn’t include it here and now… my guess is it might be a few years :wink: haha, no worries just thought I’d check out of curiosity :+1:

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@anoek I continue to be amazed at how far you have come since starting this journey. Who knew that it would grow into needing expertise in international tax laws. You should write a book about everything you’ve had to learn and deal with since the Nova days!

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