If you are an online Influencer, blogger or digital content creater and you have not registered for tax, HMRC could come looking for you. If you have income from online activities you need to pay taxes. You should register with HMRC before they issue penalties and fines.
HMRC have been sending “nudge” letters to thousands of persons from the social media, gaming, blogging and digital content creation sectors. If you are an Influencer on YouTube, Instagram, TikTok , or you stream video games on Twitch or run a blog and you receive income and/or free gifts then these activities constitute taxable income and you are obliged to register with HMRC and pay taxes. Many social media participants do not realise their activities are taxable and tax is the last thing on their minds but HMRC requires such persons to register as “self-employed” and pay taxes.
Income from online activities can take various forms e.g fees for reviews/advice/advertising, royalties and commissions from brands for product sales, guest blogging fees, income from subscription services, fees from being a “brand ambassador” and so on. HMRC officers regularly trawl through social media websites and perform surveillance on social media participants including Influencers, stars, talents, brand ambassadors and the like and assess their popularity from traffic on these sites and the consequent likelihood of receiving income. Soon after these persons get contacted by HMRC.
Social media participants should register as “self-employed” with HMRC unless their activities are performed via a UK company. Please remember it is a criminal offence for a UK resident person to try to escape UK taxes by diverting income offshore. If you register as self-employed there is a significant list of business expenses you may be eligible to claim to offset against your income. If your income is over £85,000 you are also liable to register for VAT.
If you have undeclared income from social media activities please get in touch with us as soon as possible in order to regularise your tax afffairs.