INFLUENCERS & THE CRA

In December of 2022, the CRA’s auditors confirmed that they will be keeping a close eye on social media influencers such as YouTube, Instagram as well as online gaming streamers. They want to make sure that all income from endorsements is being reported on their personal tax returns.

The CRA says that they will focus on influencers and streamers who make more than $500,000 per year. The CRA intends to use open-source intelligence which will allow them to monitor social media outlets in which they will collect and analyze data to decide.

The CRA says that this enforcement will educate influencers and streamers of their tax obligations in accordance with tax laws. It is reported that influencers and streamers can make millions a year by streaming, subscribing to their channels and purchasing merchandise.

The purpose of this is to enforce and make sure that influencers and streamers are aware of the digital tax legislation which became applicable in July of 2021.

The enforcement and application of open-source intelligence can get problematic because sometimes information becomes misinterpreted and manipulated when it comes to online data collection. This can cause hardship to Canadian taxpayers. The enforcement, which is focused on influencers and streamers making $500,000 or more per year, can have the CRA lose focus on those who make less that do not report their income. This does not address the issue at hand, which is to make sure that all income is reported properly.

The same principle applies to those who conduct business on OnlyFans. This platform is mostly for content that can not be posted on more traditional social media platforms. Subscribers must be 18 years of age or older and need to provide government ID to join. OnlyFans also has a referral program where creators can receive up to 5% of the earnings of the person who referred them. This is taxable income!

This is general comment, and you should contact Tax Partners for any questions by sending an email to info@taxpartners.ca or (905) 836-8755.

 

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