Shutting Down Asmotek
Well, it's been many years and a lot of work building software in Saskatchewan. I started this enterprise when I was 19 in January 2001. I am, however, ready to move on to other things. My attention now needs to be on Verboten Publishing and the few advanced projects we still maintain.
I would have kept it open and growing but I ran into an interesting little problem in the Saskatchewan tax code that slapped me with a massive bill for PST that I shouldn't have had to pay. I was treated like a criminal, not a partner in the economy. I was treated like it was my privilege to do business here...in the worst economy spanning 3 generations. Why shouldn't I have to pay it? Well, because our services are consulting services and consulting services don't have to charge PST. No product.
I write open source code and then I charge to service those products. I don't charge for the product and thus shouldn't have to pay PST.
The irony is that according to the Ministry of Finance, if I were just downloading Linux or other open source products for free I could service it without charging PST, but if I write the software myself and distribute under the exact same model then I have to pay the PST. This is why we have lost 25% of our manufacturing base in the last 10 years in Canada; because of stupid things like this which penalize Canadian producers.
This is not fair of course, and I'm sure it's evidence of the larger globalist agenda to destroy the economic influence of local providers, but I have no recourse. I have already disputed it with no results and I've already had to pay tens of thousands of dollars to clear up the unexpected tax bill. This has robbed me of my operating capital and so Asmotek can no longer function properly.
This has come on the heels of two of our old clients stiffing us for thousands and yet I still had to pay suppliers out of pocket. I am simply sick of being the target for everyone who senses my production.
Every time I do something and make money, a shadowy group of actors suddenly appear from various government sources demanding money, or information, or meetings, or something to explain and prove my production wasn't some seedy thing. I've been audited 3 times and I've never made more than $150,000.00 in a year BEFORE paying expenses. I also spend almost all my operating capital locally, so most expenses come with PST as well.
So I am being double charged taxes on both income and outcome, but they don't care. This is expensive and time consuming on top of a local market with low income as it is and no services that benefit my business.
Is it really so hard to believe someone in this province knows how to make valuable stuff? Well, I've had enough. I am tired of making less than my peers while accomplishing so much more. I am tired of having almost no customers in a tiny province, who are unwilling to pay properly for my services; often refuse to pay after having made sales and profit of their own based on my work; and getting fleeced by government contracts which dominate the revenue streams crippling opportunities for free enterprise.
So it is with heavy heart that I must shut down Asmotek. To those who have been good to me, thank you. To those who have not, sleep well knowing yet another successful business was bled dry and left for dead on the Saskatchewan grid road by thoughtless consumers and their heavy handed government allies. But hey, I'm just a producer. I don't have the right to make money, I don't have the right to make products. I don't have the right to prosper, I only have the right to stand helplessly as others take everything I care about. At least that is the way it has been.
With Verboten I am switching to a copyright model; an intellectual property model. I am no longer writing open source or giving away anything to consumers who don't deserve it. I am building a studio in Preeceville. I am making media and content that I own outright. I will then set up distribution subsidiaries in each province and the United States that focus the content into specific markets and then those companies will operate independently in their markets relying on the source material I provide.
No PST and no extra taxation at every possible exchange. Verboten Publishing will run at cost. Every dime it makes will be spent creating new content. It will never pay income tax because it will never have taxable income. I will sell for $0.00 my product to my other companies. I will then sell the products from the best possible vantage to pay the absolute least amount possible to the government. I will not have employees in the production studio, only partners, collaborators, and experts I pay directly. By having no employees we take away even more power from the government to interfere because labour standards are not applicable.
This is the consequence for the Saskatchewan market for treating me this way. I've paid my bills, and I've paid my taxes and I've had enough of greedy bureaucrats, who have never made a damn thing, running the show. I will make my stuff here because Saskatchewan is bigger than any one Government and someday I may be in a position to change things, but I will make my money elsewhere and the taxes for that will also go elsewhere. Maybe someday we can even abolish the PST entirely and end the brinkmanship applied to real Producers. For now please visit www.verboten.ca
and follow us on Twitter at @VerbotenPublish