Thursday, 7 April 2016

Blogging now taxable

Lo and behold! Singapore bloggers have revealed that they have received a letter from the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS), requiring them to clarify their income sources, which include products or services received via their websites.

According to the online statement, “Payments in exchange for services performed by social media influencers such as bloggers, You Tubers, etc. can take the form of money, goods or services. All monetary and non-monetary 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.”

The statement can be viewed here.

Most personal bloggers write for themselves with the idea that whoever who wants to read can choose to do so. When their following grows, they tend to experiment with various forms of advertising to cover the expenses of running the site. Server cost, domain cost as well as the time and other hidden costs usually make up a bulk of the expenses. Hence, one would turn to advertising to earn some revenue to cover the expenses.

Blogging as a taxable income is not something new – countries such as Canada also require bloggers to declare any income through personal blogs. The catch here is whether IRAS decides that your blog is a business, or a hobby. If your blog is a business, which resulted in a profit in previous years, you would probably receive a letter from IRAS soon. For most of the general population who blog as a personal hobby, you should probably be safe!

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