Income Received from Blogging or other Social Media Marketing Activities

All payments and benefits derived from the carrying on of blogging or any other marketing activities performed on social media platforms constitute gains or profits from a trade or a business under section 10(1)(a) of the Income Tax Act (ITA).

 

Payments in exchange for services performed by social media influencers such as bloggers, YouTubers, etc. can take the form of money, goods or services. All monetary and nonmonetary payments / benefits-in-kind are taxable if they are given in return for services rendered or to be rendered by you.

 

Any benefits whether monetary or in-kind provided to your family and friends will be taxable in your name.

 

You can claim expenses incurred against this source of income provided the expenses are incurred wholly and exclusively in the production of the income under section 14 of the ITA and not prohibited under section 15 of the ITA.

 

You can also claim capital allowances for capital expenditures incurred on the provision of plant and machinery for the purpose of your marketing activities on your social media platforms.

 

Some Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

 

a) If I work full-time as a salaried employee and part-time as a social media influencer such as blogger/YouTuber, etc. will the income earned on part-time basis be subject to tax?

 

Answer : Yes. The income you received from social media marketing activities such as blogging, YouTubing, etc. will be assessed as self-employed income once it is ascertained that you are carrying on a trade or business.

 

b) Does blogging and blogging-related activities only refer to updating posts on my website?

 

Answer : No. Any income received from marketing activities performed on social media platforms such as Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, etc. are also included.

 

c) I did not sign any contract prior to reviewing / promoting a product or service. Is the monetary / non-monetary payment still taxable?

 

Answer : As long as the payments are made in relation to your social media marketing activities, whether it is under contract or not, such payments are taxable.

 

d) I did not receive payments directly from the advertisers.

 

Answer : Payments are taxable regardless whether they are received directly from the advertisers, or indirectly through a social media influencer agency.

 

e) Are the products / services provided to my family / friends taxable?

 

Answer : Yes. If you and your family / friends are invited to a meal for 4 persons, you have to declare the market value of the meal for 4 persons, and not just your portion of the meal. The full value of the meal for 4 persons will be assessed in your name.

 

Note : The scenarios on IRAS’ website are non-exhaustive. Hence, the same tax treatment would apply to any other income received and expenditure incurred for social media marketing activities once IRAS has ascertained that you are carrying on a trade or business. 

© 2013 by Smaths Group of Companies

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