We reached out to the Revenue to confirm if the rumours are true.
The blogging landscape in Ireland is bigger than ever before as we see the rise of the ‘360 blogger’: she writes, she tweets, she Instagrams and crucially she also lands glossy brand partnerships that equate to extra spends in her bank account.
For many bloggers, business is booming and advertising and sponsorship deals are proving lucrative. Just recently in fact, recent research suggested that bloggers in Ireland could be earning anywhere from €100 to €10,000 for a single Instagram post.
Of course, with this success comes scrutiny and in recent months we’ve seen the Advertising Standards Authority For Ireland (ASAI) tighten up its guidelines on how bloggers declare #ad and #sponsored deals on their various channels.
And it’s certainly a hot button topic. In fact a reader survey we conducted earlier this year revealed that 53% of you believe Irish bloggers aren’t transparent enough about their income, while a substantial 78% want bloggers to disclose how much they’re earning.
As an ever-growing concern, it’s not surprising then that we’ve heard rumours the Irish Revenue could be launching an investigation into blogger earnings, specifically aimed at digital influencers who aren’t declaring their income.
If true this investigation would look into tax evasion, and in extreme cases could lead to prosecution for serious tax and customs fraud.
To confirm whether or not the rumours are true, Stellar.ie reached out to the Irish Revenue and exclusively obtained a statement detailing their stance on blogger income.
“It is our standard practice to constantly monitor new and emerging risk and Revenue is alert to the risks posed by social media marketing and on-line business in all its forms, including bloggers, digital influencers, etc,” they confirm.
“In the course of our risk analysis and case profiling to identify, target and confront suspected non-compliance, it is standard practice that social media and other online channels are reviewed where appropriate.”
The revenue also makes clear that checks are in place to identify “businesses that are operating but are not registered for tax purposes, or individuals who may be under- declaring tax liabilities.”
They clarify that “In summary, identifying, targeting and confronting non-compliance in respect of online trading, blogging, digital influencing, etc. is a standard element of our overall compliance framework.”
In short, while the Revenue aren’t launching a specific investigation into blogger earnings, it is important to remember that like any other profit-making business, blogs are subject to the same tax and duty obligations.
The take-home message is to be both careful and honest. If you’re a single person earning over the tax-free income threshold of €18,000 per annum from your blog or social channels then you need to declare it.