back to article UK tax authority nudges net 'influencers': You may owe us for those OnlyFans feet pics

Those pencil-necked desk jockeys at His Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC) are about to give the UK's legions of online "content creators" and "influencers" a rude awakening by reminding them they could owe tax on their income. Though many people "create content" for simple enjoyment rather than a money-making side hustle, …

  1. Rudy
    Happy

    I think you'll find...

    " Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC)" Nope. Not anymore.

    1. Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge

      Re: I think you'll find...

      That's the first time I've thought about that. That sounds really odd.

      1. NoneSuch Silver badge
        Trollface

        The Day is Coming...

        When HMRC asks for people to pay them directly and they forward on the proper amount to the influencer.

        Mark my words.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I think you'll find...

      Well, I don’t have to tell them that I got married about the same time as when the Queen died until I do my ‘22-23 tax return. Maybe nobody’s telling them the Queen’s dead until the Jan 2024 deadline.

    3. NightFox

      Re: I think you'll find...

      Maybe The Palace is just hoping to keep quiet about it and avoid the IHT?

    4. Dave559

      Re: I think you'll find...

      At least if HMRC were in the general habit of designing their letterheads and business cards carefully to avoid any acronym expansion (I don't know whether they are or not), they might not need to incur the expense of reprinting them, unlike those (no longer) QCs, who have no such luck…!

      (Maybe someone should propose that English should perhaps more closely follow the Germanic/Nordic forms and use something like "Kingin" (or maybe "Kvínn") as the title for a female monarch, or, given the family ancestry, maybe "Königin" wouldn't be all that inappropriate… Or there's perhaps a more 'revolutionary' solution to that linguistic problem… ;-) )

      1. logicalextreme

        Re: I think you'll find...

        They always used HM, inherited from HM Customs and Excise at the time of the 1995 merger that created HMRC. There was no way even back then that the authorities would be stupid enough to expand that abbreviation knowing that it was liable to become defunct at any second, Liz II was already pushing 80.

        I actually said something similar about kvinna/kona etc. at the time it happened, as I was fairly into the Icelandic sagas back then and always into etymology. But I like your revolutionary idea better. :)

        1. logicalextreme

          Re: I think you'll find...

          2005! I was a decade out. Knew it'd been the Inland Revenue for a longer portion of my life

      2. Bebu Silver badge

        Re: I think you'll find...

        "Or there's perhaps a more 'revolutionary' solution to that linguistic problem…"

        Oui citoyen.

        QC - some AU states use SC instead - Senior Counsel apparently.

        I think OE had cyning and cwen - perhaps the linguists can construct the neuter case from either. Both start with C which might be a bit of a problem for QC/KCs becoming CCs :)

      3. lybad

        Re: I think you'll find...

        English? I'm subject to HMRC rules, but I'm not English or even live in Engerland. :D

      4. prandeamus

        Re: I think you'll find...

        Rex/Regina in Latin already has precedent

        ER = Elizabeth Regina

        CR = Carolus/Charles Rex

        I don't think there's a special Latin form for Elizabeth as a personal name. Carolus for Karl/Charles goes back at least as far as Charlemagne.

      5. Charlie Clark Silver badge

        Re: I think you'll find...

        You mean swap the problem of the noun for that of the pronoun? Seine Majestät, Ihre Majestät. Okay, we coud go the way thee/thou. But, let's not go there!

    5. ScottishYorkshireMan

      Re: I think you'll find...

      How about Hail Mary's Recovery Company...

    6. LybsterRoy Silver badge

      Re: I think you'll find...

      That's why they just use initials although I'm not sure what is going to happen when the first "them/they" becomes crowned.

      1. ArrZarr Silver badge
        Boffin

        Re: I think you'll find...

        about 0.7% of the UK population is some flavour of trans. Most of us are binary trans and use the binary she/her he/him pronouns.

        Of the NBs (Non-binary trans folk, pronounced enbies), many do use at least some binary pronouns, e.g. she/they, he/they etc or are happy with all pronouns.

        I don't have numbers but while enbies who actively don't use binary pronouns or use neo pronouns definitely exist and their identity should be respected, the statistical probability of one of them becoming the monarch is vanishingly small. That's also before you account for the fact that an organisation as old-fashioned as the Royal family is probably not going to be massively accepting of anybody in the succession being any flavour of transgender.

    7. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I think you'll find...

      No, I think it's fine. Is Charles majestic? I don't think so.

  2. pdebarra
    Headmaster

    There's always one bloody pedant!!

    (I came here to post the same thing)

    1. Chewi
      Headmaster

      If you were going to post the same thing, then that would be two pedants. I guess I'm now the third pedant!

      1. Simon Harris

        Are two pedants a biped-ant? (and if so, what happened to its other 4 legs?)

        1. Korev Silver badge
          Coat

          > Are two pedants a biped-ant? (and if so, what happened to its other 4 legs?)

          They get to foot the tax bill...

          1. Chewi
            Coat

            Indeed, taxes sometimes can cost you an arm and a leg.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            > They get to foot the tax bill...

            Or tax the foot bill, to return to topic

        2. Jedit Silver badge
          Joke

          "Are two pedants a biped-ant?"

          Please don't get pedants confused with actual ants. Ants live in a hill. Pedants live in a well, actually.

  3. NoOnions

    Plus...

    "UK influencers and content creators earned on average $146.86 and $113.19 per hour respectively – the highest in the world."

    This is about the UK. First part of the article is in US$ only and then halfway down it is £ to $

    Can El Reg stop this please? Go back to UK units and then convert for the US audience?

    Disgusted of Tunbridge Wells (give or take 32 miles)

    1. Simon Harris

      Surely being The Reg, it should be in guineas, or for the less successful influencers, groats.

      1. Captain Hogwash

        Or farthings.

      2. low_resolution_foxxes

        We only trade with sea shells here.

        1. MachDiamond Silver badge

          "We only trade with sea shells here."

          I use leaves so money can grow on trees. I've had to set a few fires to keep down inflation due to too many leaves in circulation.

    2. Christopher Rogers

      Its El Reg trying to protect its non-dom status while still appearing relevant to the UK

      1. Vometia has insomnia. Again. Silver badge

        It's not doing a very good job of at least one of them.

    3. keith_w

      ""UK influencers and content creators earned on average $146.86 and $113.19 per hour respectively – the highest in the world."

      This is about the UK. First part of the article is in US$ only and then halfway down it is £ to $

      Can El Reg stop this please? Go back to UK units and then convert for the US audience?"

      The US is not the only place that calls their currency dollars. Dollars are also used in Canada, Australia and New Zealand. It would be nice if the country being converted to was indicated, for example US$, C$, A$, or NZ$.

    4. Why Not?
      Pint

      or Bulgarian airbags?

    5. NeilPost

      “some 2.8 million UK influencers and content creators”

      … sounds like a bogus poorly labelled, I’ll-defined big number (hat doffed to BBC More or Less’).

    6. ArrZarr Silver badge

      Most platforms are American owned and the beneficiaries of monetisation get paid in dollars.

      As they're paid in dollars no matter where they live, the GBP value is susceptible to fluctuations in the exchange rate so this number will be the better average.

  4. Vikingforties

    How much? How many?

    Plus the way it reads "some 2.8 million UK influencers and content creators earned on average $146.86 and $113.19 per hour respectively" - That's a lot of money and people!

    It prompted me to scratch my head and do some Radio4 More of Less style sleuthing.

    The report actually says the base of people that Adobe surveyed who averaged $146 and $113 were (maybe) 259, not 2.8 million, which seems way more realistic.

    "Base: Creators who monetize via social media US (n=196), UK (n=172)

    Base: Influencers US (n=79), UK (n=87),"

    1. Sam not the Viking Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: How much? How many?

      I too was sceptical of these numbers. 2.8 million UK influencers/creators? Being paid an average of more than $100 per hour. Hmmm.

      Then I noted that the conclusions are based upon a 15-minute on-line survey. Well, now I'm convinced. It must be true.

      1. veti Silver badge

        Re: How much? How many?

        I suspect that the hour when they earn $100 is often backed up by about 12 hours of earning $0, while they mess about thinking about what to do today and how to make it as annoying as possible.

        1. jh27

          Re: How much? How many?

          Perhaps its per hour of content - so typically (say) 6 hours work equals 1 hour of video content so they get they $100+ dollars for 6 hours work - and a single still photo gets $100/60/60/25

    2. LybsterRoy Silver badge

      Re: How much? How many?

      Well, yes. I had the same thought at first but then I realised these influencers and content creators were only "working" 10 minutes per week and I calmed right down.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: How much? How many?

      That was along the lines of my reaction - 2.8 million people in the UK is almost 5% of the total population. Bearing in mind that their online presence is 24/7, that could earnings of around £2.5T - two years tax would wipe out the UK national debt. But, as any loyal MoL listener knows, that's just not believable. Even cutting the earning time to the "normal" working day is still unbelievable at 25% of UK GDP.

      I'll not go into a rant about quoting UK earnings in unspecified $...

      1. M.V. Lipvig Silver badge
        Trollface

        Re: How much? How many?

        "two years tax would wipe out the UK national debt. "

        A politician, wipe out debt when there's money to be spent? That's some kind of Bizzaro world you live in. Imagine, a politician paying down a debt!

        Icon not to troll, but to laugh that loud!

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The difference between content creators and influencers.

    Content creators blow bubbles from the arse and influencers use their arse to blow bubbles. Glad I could clear that up.

    1. nintendoeats Silver badge

      Re: The difference between content creators and influencers.

      There are some people on Youtube making really great educational/edutainment content. I would term them content creators.

      There are some people on Youtube who advertise shoes. I would term them influencers.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The difference between content creators and influencers.

        Well, if the shoe fits ..

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The difference between content creators and influencers.

        What if they are influencing with their content or the content to advertise shoes has been created?

        Educational content can be an influence to whatever they are showing you how to learn and influencers can't just advertise, they need content to do it which they have to create.

        1. nintendoeats Silver badge

          Re: The difference between content creators and influencers.

          As far as I know, the term "influencer" was created by marketing people to identify elements of their marketing strategy. So while logically it should refer to "one who influences", which is basically anybody who speaks, in practice it refers to a class of marketing spokespeople who are semi-independent and communicate exclusively through social media or similar platforms.

      3. LybsterRoy Silver badge

        Re: The difference between content creators and influencers.

        -- There are some people on Youtube who advertise shoes. I would term them influencers. --

        I wonder just who they are influencing? Not me cos I don't watch them must be the marketing department.

        1. Rol

          Re: The difference between content creators and influencers.

          whereas discontent providers are normally to be found in Westminster.

    2. MachDiamond Silver badge

      Re: The difference between content creators and influencers.

      An influencer is no different than the huckster spouting all of the benefits of some cheap plastic thing on late night infomercials. It could be a celebraty that's famous for being famous shilling for some sportswear company/Crypto exchange/tropical resort.

      A content creator includes influencers but they are usually somebody that has an online presence with some sort of focus. AVE, Big Clive, EEVBlog and Thunderf00t create content but do very little to push products they are being paid to endorse. Thunderf00t is so controversial that companies might give him money to not mention them. (We love ya, Phil).

  6. elsergiovolador Silver badge

    Portmanteau

    The word "influencer" is actually a portmanteau of words inept, flu and cancer.

    1. ITMA Silver badge

      Re: Portmanteau

      Influencers are still not as good as The Persuaders...

      Tony Curtis's toupee was very entertaining....

  7. b0llchit Silver badge
    WTF?

    Customer?

    HMRC simply winked: "We believe our customers...

    That would suggest you have a choice not to be a "customer"...

    True customers can refuse to deal with you. I do not think the HMRC is willing to accept you not dealing with them.

    1. FrogsAndChips Silver badge

      Re: Customer?

      And they don't even provide you a service apart from hosting a website so you can declare and pay tax, and send you a letter with your tax code once in a while!

      1. Roland6 Silver badge

        Re: Customer?

        And if you pay VAT - which these influencers should be... HMRC require you to pay a third-party so you can use their software rather than directly enter your VAT data on HMRC's website...

        1. Korev Silver badge

          Re: Customer?

          And if you pay VAT - which these influencers should be... HMRC require you to pay a third-party so you can use their software rather than directly enter your VAT data on HMRC's website...

          I wonder how many of these influencers turn over enough to have to pay VAT.

          1. Mike 137 Silver badge

            Re: Customer?

            "HMRC require you to pay a third-party so you can use their software"

            Futhermore, although HMRC provide specifications for software developers, as I found out when working on an online accounting package, even if you follow the spec to the letter HMRC don't warrant that the calculations will turn out correct and will pursue the taxed individual for errors.

          2. Rol

            Re: Customer?

            seems a little incongruous to have the people who devalue social media and by dint society as a whole to be paying Value Added Tax

        2. Natalie Gritpants Jr

          Re: Customer?

          There is a free service. I used until I went inside IR35. https://www.vat.direct/ (The website looks retro, but is in fact highly functional)

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Customer?

            looks retro, but is in fact highly functional

            I'm spotting a trend here. Linux, LibreOffice vs Windows(whatever version it is today) and Office-definitely-not-365..

          2. AMBxx Silver badge

            Re: Customer?

            I use 123-efiling as bridging software. About £10 a year, just a case of exporting some data from accounts and linking to their template.

        3. jmch Silver badge

          Re: Customer?

          "... if you pay VAT - which these influencers should be..."

          I wonder how that's supposed to work??? If eg Google pay someone a few pence per view of their video, and it adds up to say £100 - shouldn't Google be adding £18 in VAT, which the influencer is then forwarding to HMRC?? Or (as I think more likely) is Google just washing its hands of the complications in it's fine print and stating that the £100 includes VAT?

        4. HereIAmJH

          Re: Customer?

          Over here, the IRS requires you to use a third party to file ordinary income taxes electronically. Who do their best to monetize their 'customers' by directing them to non-free products. (they are supposed to offer a free option for low income filers)

          It's costing me $40 USD to file this year, but I'm getting back $2 so it's all worth it.

          1. MachDiamond Silver badge

            Re: Customer?

            "Over here, the IRS requires you to use a third party to file ordinary income taxes electronically. "

            Why make it easy on them? I do all of my taxes on the computer and then send in paper forms. This way I know all of the sums are correct and I've received hints about the forms I need to file but I've also given the tax man a disincentive to manually go through everything and check my math/number of forms. I expect they look at the main figures to determine if spending thousands to have a close look is worth the effort to find out if I've cheated on $100 (although the fines can be substantial). I'll keep doing this until it's mandatory that taxes are filed electronically and The Man has to provide services to those without the means to buy a computer and pay for the service.

            1. HereIAmJH

              Re: Customer?

              Why make it easy on them? I do all of my taxes on the computer and then send in paper forms.

              Then I have to print them. (15-20 pages) Get a special envelope. Take it to the post office and get it weighed. And a couple more $ for postage. TBH, I don't know if Fed has fillable calculating forms. So I give up on the tax software completely (which includes Fed electronic filing) and do it all manually?

              Note that I do state returns manually, because once the Federal is done State is pretty straight forward. Fillable calculating forms. Then it's the print 20 pages, 8x11 envelope, trip to the post office. But that's cheaper than the $20 they want for electronic state filing with your Federal. And for my state, they really don't care which way you file because they incorporate the form's data in a pdf417 2d barcode so it's a simple scan for them.

        5. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Customer?

          >HMRC require you to pay a third-party so you can use their software rather

          And then have the damn cheek to charge VAT on top of paying to use that software to pay your VAT..... Which you have to claim back 3 months later.

      2. Rob

        Re: Customer?

        It's a protection racket. You pay them, they keep the law courts away from you (regrading your income, other crimes require a different gov department)

        1. nijam Silver badge

          Re: Customer?

          > It's a protection racket.

          No, actually, it's "demanding money with menaces". Quite a serious crime.

      3. andy 103

        Re: Customer?

        they don't even provide you a service apart from hosting a website

        which ironically is paid for using tax payers money.

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Customer?

        they don't provide a service, but the rest of the system does, in exchange for the minor contribution required from us all. In exchange they provide our world-class health system, famous social services, free-for-all, top-class education, rail transport that's the envy of 1st world and many other great benefits that you enjoy every. single. day. Also, the system gives us VAT which is a great benefit to us all, brexit or brexin. Where else would you get a better deal?!

        1. NiceCuppaTea
          Mushroom

          Re: Customer?

          Oh look, a sarcasm detector, what a brilliant invention!

    2. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

      Re: Customer?

      HM Government Ministers have a special exception. Nod nod wink wink

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Customer?

        likewise the crown, which doesn't fall into any tax category, just 'comes to understanding' with the tax man.

    3. khjohansen
      Megaphone

      "What have the Romans ever done for us...?"

      *Sigh*

      - You are free to "refuse to deal with HMRC" - you can remove yourself from their jurisdiction!

      Of course, this means that you're no longer elegible for services & protections afforded the tax payers - like courts, the NHS, schooling for the kids etc.

      Best of luck with that ...

      1. 43300 Silver badge

        Re: "What have the Romans ever done for us...?"

        Some might think that there has, over several decades, been a growing disconnect between what you pay in tax and what you actually get back. After they've driven back along the pot-holed road and spent an hour on the phone to the GP or some NHS department to be told that there are no appointments, phone back next week. And possibly after they've reported that their garage was broken into (just to get the case number for the insurance - nobody actually expects the police to do anything about this sort of thing now).

      2. FrogsAndChips Silver badge

        Re: "What have the Romans ever done for us...?"

        1. Technically, none of these services are provided by HMRC

        2. You don't need to pay tax to be eligible for NHS, state education, etc.

        1. veti Silver badge

          Re: "What have the Romans ever done for us...?"

          Not the point. HMRC calculates and advises you how much money you are expected to pay for all those services. That's the service they provide.

          In some cases the answer may be zero. That's fine, zero is just a number like any other.

          1. FrogsAndChips Silver badge

            Re: "What have the Romans ever done for us...?"

            Then it's the most overcharged service in history, as it clearly doesn't take hundreds of billions every year to run it. But we know that only a fraction of taxation goes on running HMRC. And as you say, that's fine. But let's cut the crap of calling us customers. What we are has a name: taxpayers.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "What have the Romans ever done for us...?"

        well, I'm sure 'courts' could be arranged if you refuse to deal with hmrc. Ironically, even if you do not have to pay anything to hmrc, there's probably punishment for refusing to tell the hmrc that you do not have to pay them.

      4. MachDiamond Silver badge

        Re: "What have the Romans ever done for us...?"

        "Of course, this means that you're no longer elegible for services & protections afforded the tax payers - like courts, the NHS, schooling for the kids etc."

        Those that have emigrated to the country informally seem to have little problem accessing those services.

    4. Stork

      Re: Customer?

      You can choose not to be a HMRC customer, but only if you unsubscribe from the whole UK package.

      1. 43300 Silver badge

        Re: Customer?

        And then you become automatically enrolled in the HMRC equivalent in whichever country you've moved to - there's no escaping it!

        1. veti Silver badge

          Re: Customer?

          You could move to a country without taxes.

          The only one I know of is the Vatican City, and I believe their immigration rules are pretty tough, but maybe you can find a softer touch somewhere else.

  8. katrinab Silver badge
    Headmaster

    If you earn £10,000 from Onlyfans subscriptions or whatever, and that is your only income from the year, you have to fill in a tax return, but your tax bill will be £0, because it is covered by your personal allowance.

    That £10,000 is after deducting expenses. The £1,000 trading allowance is before deducting expenses, including the commission that Onlyfans or whoever deducts before sending the money to you. If you go above £1,000 you can either deduct £1,000 as expenses or your actual expenses, depending on what works best for you.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      What about N.I. as self employed?

      1. katrinab Silver badge

        Payable on income above £11,908.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          well, strictly speaking, you can still pay the voluntary n.i. contribution even below that threshold. Not that you'd be able to survive on 200 - 400 quid a month if you live long enough to retire. And they'd probably tax it again before you get that 400 quid anyway. It's a great, great system. Double and triple taxation, etc.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Who are you, Who are so wise in the ways of tax?

          Whilst you are completely correct it is best to pay stamp when you hit the 6k odd limit from my understanding of such things.

    2. Roland6 Silver badge

      You are forgetting your OnlyFans income is subject to VAT.

      So regardless of any other tax you should be at least paying circa £166 pa to HMRC...

      1. katrinab Silver badge

        OnlyFans has to charge VAT to the subscriber. You only need to charge VAT to OnlyFans if your income goes above £85,000.

        1. Roland6 Silver badge

          Whilst things seem clear cut, remember how HMRC and others have gone after ebay and Amazon traders. Plus there is a different and much lower threshold if you export to the EU...

          https://www.rsmuk.com/ideas-and-insights/tax-voice-june-2021/new-eu-vat-rules-for-e-commerce-from-1-july-2021.

          Given the current cash-strapped times, wouldn't be surprised if HMRC decide to lower the UK domestic VAT registration threshold...

          I suspect OnlyFans charges VAT on the OnlyFans slice of the subscription and for payments processing.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            This all reminds me of when I had to fill in a tax return every year. Remember that old advert "tax doesn't have to be taxing"? No it doesn't so why do you make it so it is? I'm sure half the unpaid tax from individuals is coming from people who look at the form and just say, like I used to, "If I don't understand the question the answer must be No". So I answered No to everything.

          2. katrinab Silver badge

            Amazon and Ebay have different rules because they are selling physical goods, not services or electronic goods.

            Amazon do also sell electronic goods (mp3 files, Kindle books, streaming services, etc), and the rules there are not different.

            OnlyFans is required to charge VAT on the whole subscription. If the subscription is £12. They will take £2 off for VAT and pay that to HMRC, then deduct their commission from what's left, and pay the balance to the creator / influencer.

            If you are selling to an EU county, or indeed any other country, then you have to comply with their tax rules.

            If it is an OnlyFans creator based in the UK with EU subscribers, then OnlyFans will deduct the appropriate VAT amount in each EU country.

    3. anothercynic Silver badge

      Good old HMRC - Let's make things even more complicated... and let's tax everyone and their dog even if they just sell something they've already been taxed on (I refer specifically to those flogging some stuff on FleaBay that they don't want anymore)... No wonder everyone and their dog now use Facebook Marketplace (because eBay actually report stuff to HMRC).

      That said, the relationship between personal tax allowance and trading (as a side hustle) is not particularly made clear to people by the platforms either, it should at the very least be part of the ongoing comms process for those who earn most of their money off those, erm, visual platforms.

      1. katrinab Silver badge

        If you are selling stuff you don't want any more, that is covered by the chattels exemption. Otherwise you could claim the cost of the original purchase of the item, and you would most likely make a loss. HMRC don't want people making loads of CGT loss claims.

        1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

          If you are selling stuff you don't want any more..

          That's one I've sometimes wondered about. So if an 'influencer' gets free stuff, isn't that a benefit in kind, and potentially taxable? I've heard about this one with some sales incentives where staff are given trips to luxury resorts for special company meetings for top performers. Sometimes, HMRC doesn't believe that. Presumably it's safer if the side-hustle is run as a business, but there wouldl still seem to be challenges around getting caught for co-mingling business and personal benefits that could attract tax liabilities. So maybe someone gets sponsored by OnlyFresh and gets sent free meals given allowable food expenses gets complicated in most tax jurisdictions. Then if the ad-read includes feeding your family the delicious, healthy grub, there'd probably be some personal liability.

          I assume much of this has been figured out given celeb endorsements in exchange for free stuff or cash has been a thing for years, but I'm guessing many online 'celebs' aren't aware of the rules.

          1. Roland6 Silver badge

            >So if an 'influencer' gets free stuff, isn't that a benefit in kind, and potentially taxable?

            Welcome to the grey area of taxation where the tax will tend to review after the event to determine whether something should have been taxed. A lot hinges on "primary purpose" and the way in which you gained financially.

            >someone gets sponsored by OnlyFresh...

            Assuming the sponsorship is to say produce YouTube videos showing how to prepare OnlyFresh meals; once the meal has been produced, the food is waste... Hence you could invite friends round and share, however, if you were more commercial with respect to the consumption of the waste food, the tax man would be interested in your gains from this activity.

          2. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
            Joke

            Does Boris' £12,500 food parcels attract tax, or was he availing himself of a posh version of a food bank?

            https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9328093/Takeaways-Boris-Johnson-Carrie-Symonds-UKs-poshest-farm-shop-12-500.html

            ps sorry for the Daily Fail reference

            1. katrinab Silver badge

              Yes, they are taxable. It would go on his P11D.

        2. anothercynic Silver badge

          Thanks for clarifying, Katrina, much appreciated. That's what I thought... as long as this is just the occasional "this is rubbish I don't want anymore" kind of sale, you're fine? Thanks! :-)

    4. The Owl

      I'm now wondering if I should have claimed £1000 against the £2500 in crypto stacking "income" (most of which was worthless by the time I got around to paying the tax)...

      1. Roland6 Silver badge

        You should always claim 'losses' as they can be offset against future gains...

        1. The Owl

          Unfortunately, crypto stacking income is "trading income" and holding on to the cryptocurrency rather than disposing of it instantly, and having it drop in value is a negative "Capital Gain". And I don't think you can offset capital gains (losses) against income. The HMRC rules on crypto are not entirely thought out - and possibly challengeable. It's on my list of things to to discuss my accountant, if the sum involved ever justifies paying an accountant.

      2. katrinab Silver badge

        I don't think that is trading income, so the £1000 trading allowance wouldn't apply. The CGT annual exemption or the personal savings allowance might apply though.

        1. The Owl

          I'd love that to be the case since I was well under the CGT limit, but I was running servers for others to stake against, and taking a cut. I felt that it probably met the threshold to be trading income. https://www.gov.uk/hmrc-internal-manuals/cryptoassets-manual/crypto21200

          1. katrinab Silver badge

            Yes, if you are running the servers, it would be a trade.

  9. Headley_Grange Silver badge

    HMRC RTI

    I have to do "real time" reporting to HMRC of salaries for my company. Why not make it a legal requirement for the platforms to report to HMRC the amount of money they pay their influencers? HMRC could add it in to the tax system and it would make it less likely that someone might forget to add the income to their tax return.

    1. elsergiovolador Silver badge

      Re: HMRC RTI

      Why not make platform to actually sign employment contract with the influencer?

      The are effectively employees, so make them as such - ensure they earn minimum wage and enjoy other benefits of employment.

      Otherwise this is just an exploitation.

      1. MachDiamond Silver badge

        Re: HMRC RTI

        "Why not make platform to actually sign employment contract with the influencer?"

        The platform isn't imposing any sort of editorial control and just hosts content. If that content generates enough traffic, they'll share in any ad revenue. To get ad revenue, your channel needs to be bland and rather LCD while pandering to the more primal urges. If you are controversial, chances are good your video will be demonetized and the platform will keep all of the revenue.

        There doesn't seem to be enough of a collaboration for a creator to be deemed an employee anymore than a billboard company can call advertisers that use them employees that create content for their billboards. At least in the US, there is a test to determine an employee from an independent contractor. Most of it hinges on who directs the work. In the case of people that post videos, the connection is even more separated. If the platform approached somebody and asked them to create a certain type of content of a specified length and publishing frequency, the relationship could be considered employee/employer if the creator isn't a production company that does that sort of work in their normal course of business for a multitude of clients.

    2. Arthur the cat Silver badge

      Re: HMRC RTI

      Why not make it a legal requirement for the platforms to report to HMRC

      Most platforms are US based, TikTok is Chinese. (Is there any platform that's UK based?) Extraterritoriality is messy.

      1. elsergiovolador Silver badge

        Re: HMRC RTI

        That's incorrect. OnlyFans is UK based.

        Then corporation doing business in the UK (as in de facto employing influencers) has to create UK establishment and so the workers could be engaged in employment contract with such local post.

        If the platform refuses to do so, it can be simply banned from the country.

        1. katrinab Silver badge

          Re: HMRC RTI

          They are required to register in the UK and charge VAT on their UK paying subscribers.

          1. elsergiovolador Silver badge

            Re: HMRC RTI

            They could also be required to register to employ the users they pay monies to.

            Pattern has already been established.

            1. Roland6 Silver badge

              Re: HMRC RTI

              >Pattern has already been established.

              Don't see how the OnlyFans business model fits the Uber, Pimlico Plumbers etc. pseudo self-employment models.

              1. katrinab Silver badge

                Re: HMRC RTI

                Mainly because you decide what you want to upload, and how much to charge for it.

                1. elsergiovolador Silver badge

                  Re: HMRC RTI

                  That is not a factor when it comes to deciding whether something is of employment nature. Not anymore.

                  1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

                    Re: HMRC RTI

                    Could the pitfalls of IR35 apply?

      2. FrogsAndChips Silver badge

        Re: HMRC RTI

        Extraterritoriality is manageable. Some countries/cities won't let AirBnB advertise rentals unless the owner has previously obtained an authorization number, and AirBnB will have to report how many nights have been booked in the last period for income tax purposes. They can also be made to collect the visitor tax where applicable.

    3. lglethal Silver badge
      Go

      Re: HMRC RTI

      Not that I've looked into this too deeply, but the majority of high earning influencers make their money not from the site through which their audience sees them, but from the advertisers whose products they hock.

      So the platform reporting the money they pay influencers would only be one part, and a small part at that, of the big picture...

    4. katrinab Silver badge

      Re: HMRC RTI

      They do report to HMRC, that's how they know to send the letters out. But you can claim back the cost of your studio equipment, makeup, etc against your income, and Onlyfans doesn't know what that is.

      1. elsergiovolador Silver badge

        Re: HMRC RTI

        Given that they are performing personal service, that work likely would be caught by IR35 rules. This means these expenses would have to be reimbursed by the deemed employer, but there is no requirement for deemed employer to do so - for instance the deemed employer may claim that these tools are not used solely for the content to be produced on their platform.

        So I have doubts these costs can be claimed in any way unless the workers become proper employees.

        1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

          Re: HMRC RTI

          ..for instance the deemed employer may claim that these tools are not used solely for the content to be produced on their platform.

          I'm guessing that one could be easier to be deemed outside IR35, unless the person is solely 'working' for OnlyFlans. Many online 'celebs' seem to be non-exclusive, so drop work on YT, OF, Instagrot, TicToc etc. So based on output across multiple platforms, it'd seem like they're not disguised employees.

          But I guess there's potential for more fun. So celeb works for their company and expenses a pile of implants. Company goes bust, administrator or liquidator wants the company's assets back. They will have their pound of flesh?

          1. Roland6 Silver badge

            Re: HMRC RTI

            There is a bookkeeping difference between 'expense' and 'capital investment' and asset...

            Many years back, one employer tightened their expense policy; someone had taken exception to us going out and buying an A0 plotter on expenses (working aboard, we needed it now, the local IT wholesaler had one in stock and would taxi it across town to us and the client would reimburse via expenses)...

          2. elsergiovolador Silver badge

            Re: HMRC RTI

            Where IR35 is concerned it doesn't matter if person is working for multiple platforms. Each contract is looked at individually and in isolation. That's a common misunderstanding of the new rules.

            Just like you can be employed by many businesses. It's also possible to have contracts in and out of scope of IR35 running concurrently.

            1. Richard 12 Silver badge
              Unhappy

              Re: HMRC RTI

              There's a misconception that IR35 has self-consistent rules that are capable of being applied or understood by any person or entity whatsoever.

          3. MachDiamond Silver badge

            Re: HMRC RTI

            "They will have their pound of flesh?"

            Dude! I was eating. Ewwww.

    5. HereIAmJH

      Re: HMRC RTI

      Why not make it a legal requirement for the platforms to report to HMRC the amount of money they pay their influencers?

      On many of the platforms, the bulk of the influencer's income isn't coming from the platform. For example, it used to be YouTube ad revenue paid well. But then Google tweaked the program (several times) and now most of their incomes come from non-Google sources. Sponsorships, branded merchandise, Patreon, etc.

      While OnlyFans could report income, OF is more of an online store than a employer/employee relationship. They have limited control over what you post. Since there are production costs for pictures and videos, be sure to keep track of your cost of goods sold.

      -- this post sponsored by Arthritic Greens.

  10. codejunky Silver badge
    Coat

    Hmm

    So the grubby business disliked by the moral and just person is going after onlyfans content creators? I am sure there is humour in that somewhere.

    1. MachDiamond Silver badge

      Re: Hmm

      "So the grubby business disliked by the moral and just person is going after onlyfans content creators?"

      There'd be a lot more room for pork barrel spending if governments could effectively tax sex.

  11. The BigYin

    Go for the small fry

    I wish HMRC were so keen to make the major corporates pay their fair share and stamp down hard on the tax evasion schemes like exhorbitatn "licensing fees" etc.

    1. Franco Bronze badge

      Re: Go for the small fry

      We've been down this road before on El Reg with the IR35 nonsense. HMRC is well aware it doesn't have the legal muscle to enter in to protracted battles with Amazon et al so goes after people that it can win battles with. Unfortunately for them they picked on more than a few broadcasters who do have the money to pay for expensive lawyers and accountants who keep proper records, and so have won their cases.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Go for the small fry

      well, it's easier / cheaper / more effective to shake off the little (well, relatively speaking) people, than spend years and year on legal wrangles with corps that employ the best legal shysters available.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Go for the small fry

        On the other hand, one big "win" against Amazon or similar not only could bring in more than all those small fry combined, but set a precedent for other big fish.

    3. SundogUK Silver badge

      Re: Go for the small fry

      For the most part major corporate's do pay their fair share/ Fair = the amount they are legally obliged to pay.

  12. Plest Silver badge
    Alert

    Yep! About bloody time too!!

    I've been shooting photos and selling them through my side biz for a few years now, despite the biz turnover being less than a few expensive meals, the biz is registered, has proper documentation, a full tax return is filed every year by my wife with me as supplier of created materials, she pays the biz NI, etc. If my wife and I have to jump through hoops with HMRC just for a few hundred snaps I sell every years, then all those young ladies shaking their "money makers" for sad lonely men can also declare yearly filing with HRMC too!

    If you don't have the tax knowledge my dears, then I suggest you invest some of your money in an accountant then you really will learn what it's like to be bent over and....

    1. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: Yep! About bloody time too!!

      >a full tax return is filed every year by my wife with me as supplier of created materials, she pays the biz NI, etc.

      Not clear whether you are employed by your wife or whether you are independently self-employed.

      Either way, a nice little hobby that also pays, in that it probably accrues some beneficial tax losses...

      1. MachDiamond Silver badge

        Re: Yep! About bloody time too!!

        "Either way, a nice little hobby that also pays, in that it probably accrues some beneficial tax losses..."

        Depending on where you are, tax authorities frown on "businesses" that show a loss for too long. The "too long" being whatever they say it is.

    2. Jellied Eel Silver badge

      Re: Yep! About bloody time too!!

      If you don't have the tax knowledge my dears, then I suggest you invest some of your money in an accountant then you really will learn what it's like to be bent over and...

      .. reminded that even if the accountant gives you bad advice and lands you with a large tax bill, they aren't liable. Or if they are, you'd need to also invest in lawyers to argue that they were. I did much the same thing and set up a company to handle that and avoid the potential hassle of splitting our/declaring income on my tax return. At least with small business exemptions, the accounting is simpler and cleaner. Main issue that confused me were the potential benefit-in-kind/P11D implications. So camera gear expensed through the company was for company use only, and if I bought a van or station wagon, it'd be covered under traditional company car rules. Then it was figuring out IP issues, which was done on a free-lance-ish way with both the company and myself retaining rights to any images, and my money came via royalties and licence fees.

      Then came IR35. Yey!

      It's a bit frustrating that the goverment wants to encourage small businesses, and force them to be legit, yet our tax codes are horribly complicated. So it's easy to make expensive mistakes, despite the best intentions. Plus the use of random extortion generators if HMRC loses a return. So at one point I was sent a demand for around £750k, and my company wasn't Getty Images. Then the burden of proof is shifted so I had to prove the company filed ahead of time, and the tax demanded was nothing close to revenue or expected revenue for any comparable business.

  13. Jedit Silver badge
    Stop

    "HMRC has caught scent of its favorite snack – unpaid tax"

    Correction required: "unpaid tax" should read "unpaid tax from poor people". HMRC will take hundreds or thousands from individuals, but are more than happy to let rich corporations off the hook for billions. Vodafone's sweetheart deal relieved them of so much unpaid tax burden that had they been made to pay in full it would by itself have covered the entire first round of austerity cuts to local authorities. And that's just one company.

  14. andy 103
    Mushroom

    Content creators vs. influencers - the real difference

    A content creator is somebody who - as the name suggests - creates "content" in whatever form a particular platform is based on. So for Instagram it might be photos and/or short videos, for TikTok it's entirely videos etc. There are even content creators for the likes of LinkedIn which are generally written articles covering a particular subject. The goal of this content is always to promote a particular product/service/thing but to do so in a way that gives a human element to it. So if it's a particular item of, say, gym gear it comes across as an honest*** review from a real person, as opposed to the company trying to sell it. It essentially humanises what was previously something being sold from Big Faceless Corporation(TM). But they like this because it generates sales. The content creator likes it because they get commission. Win-win.

    An influencer, on the other hand, is a level up from a content creator. In their case they have amassed a following to the extent where whatever they're trying to promote effectively sells itself based on who they are...or rather perceived to be. However - the principle thing they are trying to sell is themselves - to gain more of a following and therefore rapidly increase the size of that vicious circle. They like this because Big Faceless Corporation(TM) will give them stuff for free, on the basis a lot of other people will be influenced to pay for it. Win-win for the influencer and company. Not so much for Joe Citizen.

    Both are there to make money (for themselves). This is income and therefore should be taxed appropriately.

    *** For a given definiton of "honest". On some platforms like Instagram you have to make clear if you're advertising something. But it's not like anyone cares because it involves reading.

    1. phuzz Silver badge

      Re: Content creators vs. influencers - the real difference

      I'd take issue with:

      The goal of this content is always to promote a particular product/service/thing

      That's just an advert. Quite a lot (most?) 'content creators' aren't making adverts, they're making entertainment of some form or another, and then being paid by Youtube (or wherever) a proportion of the revenue for the adverts that the hosting site has shown to viewers. Some income also comes from subscribers.

      Often they will also make adverts for specific products, but on most platforms it has to be clearly marked as 'sponsored'.

      At the more professional end it's pretty much the same as a production company filming a TV show, and selling it to a channel. Indeed some 'content creators' have shifted to making TV/streaming shows.

  15. Natalie Gritpants Jr

    Tax could be a lot simpler

    Just charge 0.1% on every payment into a UK bank account (personal and business). Ignore cash, as it's only used by poor people. Let the banks collect it (they know exactly where all the money is and has been). The big businesses who will use offshore accounts are already dodging tax, so you could probably add 0.01% on every transfer of money overseas.

    Might upset the rich and the financial industry, but that would indicate you're doing it right.

    1. andy 103
      Facepalm

      Re: Tax could be a lot simpler

      Just charge 0.1% on every payment into a UK bank account

      How does this work given we have tax bands such as 20% and 50%? Are you suggesting somebody who gets paid £100k or more should be charged 0.1% of that in income tax? Because that might leave a deficit that not even Rishi Sunak could fiddle the maths for.

      1. Roland6 Silver badge

        Re: Tax could be a lot simpler

        This looks like the financial transaction tax often spoken about, and like VAT it would be in addition to other taxes...

    2. phuzz Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: Tax could be a lot simpler

      So if I split the cost of something with a friend, and they transferred the money to me, it would be taxed at 0.01%

      Or if I was getting a refund for something?

      Wouldn't this hit people on weekly incomes, (who are typically earning less), harder than those who are paid monthly?

      If you're going to invent a fantasy tax in future, try and concentrate on it hitting the rich harder than the poor.

      1. MachDiamond Silver badge

        Re: Tax could be a lot simpler

        "If you're going to invent a fantasy tax in future, try and concentrate on it hitting the rich harder than the poor."

        I disagree. You should strive to make the tax a fair proportion across the income spectrum with a lower cutoff below which a person/family does not owe tax and a cutoff of percentages past a certain point. Many "rich" people are really just high income earners that wind up overspending and paying a higher VAT. Very few are truly rich. The wealthy often own things that contribute to their net worth but aren't cash or particularly liquid. The last thing I'd ever want to see is a "wealth tax". That would be a license to steal even more broad than the taxation we have now. A wealthy person might not have a large income so while trying to "tax" the wealthy, you wind up penalizing the people that are trying to become wealthy by earning the money.

        Wealthy people and those with high incomes have many more facilities open to them to legally avoid paying taxes. Raise the taxes and they have even more avenues and incentives to invest and store their wealth in other places. For somebody like me, those tactics don't work since it would cost me more money to use them than I would save on taxes.

  16. andy 103
    WTF?

    Usability of GOV UK in respect to tax returns

    From what I can gather - on one page of the GOV UK website it says for my circumstances if I earn over £1000 in interest on savings (not including ISAs or Premium Bonds) I'd have to pay tax on it.

    Yet when I go through their online questionnaire, it concludes that I don't.

    I know this is a separate matter (tax on interest on savings) to the subject of the article. But it beggars belief that HMRC are trying to suggest people are doing the wrong thing, when they are indeed giving out conflicting information on their own bloody website.

    1. heyrick Silver badge

      Re: Usability of GOV UK in respect to tax returns

      It's not conflicting, it's by design. The wealthy can point to one part to justify not paying, while the HMRC can point to another part to justify making regular people pay.

    2. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: Usability of GOV UK in respect to tax returns

      >Yet when I go through their online questionnaire, it concludes that I don't.

      Interest on UK savings accounts is generally taxed at source at basic rate, hence HMRC will be determining whether your total income goes over the higher rate threshold at which point additional tax become due.

      1. katrinab Silver badge

        Re: Usability of GOV UK in respect to tax returns

        Not any more, that was changed in 2016

        https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/news/2016/04/all-savings-now-to-be-paid-tax-free/

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Usability of GOV UK in respect to tax returns

      confusing and conflicting advice stems from the fact that the 'online' system is just a patchwork of old, very old, updated old, newish, fairly new - all mixed up and linked up (with many dead links) - and this patchwork is both the substance, i.e. what you read on those pages, and the medium, i.e. how this or that part of the 'system' is delivered and co-works with the rest. Obviously, nobody, EVER checks those bits make sense and 'align' - this might have been an intention, but never implemented. It's a clusterfuck (but then, I could say the same about NHS system, and probably any other gov-related system).

  17. TeeCee Gold badge
    Meh

    "Content producer": Someone who thinks they have talent. They are invariably incorrect.

    "Influencer": Sales droid in the gig economy.

    "Gig economy": Employment for those so utterly useless at what they do that nobody will give them a contract, let alone hire them full time.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The more you're off their radar the better. This government pish it away on wars you didn't sign up to, handouts for those doing nothing and cash for their billionaire cronies. Hide it. Obscure it. Crypto it. Keep it quiet. Whatever. And if they do give you grief, you make it not worth their hassle. Become super difficult to get hold of. You prolong and delay. You become obnoxious and unbearable to deal with. It's your choice to be complicit to live in their reality and rules.

    They should be going after the multinationals, big tech and the high earners. Not those on low incomes, people selling a few naughty pictures or some ink cartridges on eBay.

    1. heyrick Silver badge

      Good advice, but I think it only works if you can afford the lawyers to tie them in knots...

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm not sure Jessica Narweh would take kindly to being called a cum-influencer.

  20. FatGerman

    We believe our customers want to pay the right amount of tax

    Look, I think everybody should pay their fair share, but I'm not your customer unless you're providing me with a product or service, which you're not. Yes you're taking my money but don't try to make me think you're doing me a favour - actually you're generating a huge amount of extra work for me with you ludicrously complicated and unintelligible forms

  21. elsergiovolador Silver badge

    Loophole

    Imagine I create a platform - a cupcake factory, where people can come and make cupcakes if they like and then other people may buy cupcakes off of them and I would take a cut of each sale.

    Or I create a supermarket and people can come stack shelves and if I like it I could pay them in tokens.

    I am pretty sure something like this would be illegal, but somehow it is allowed when it is on the internet.

    1. Arthur the cat Silver badge

      Re: Loophole

      Imagine I create a platform - a cupcake factory, where people can come and make cupcakes if they like and then other people may buy cupcakes off of them and I would take a cut of each sale.

      I am pretty sure something like this would be illegal, but somehow it is allowed when it is on the internet.

      Sounds pretty close to what just about every taxi firm in the country does. They're not illegal.

      1. elsergiovolador Silver badge

        Re: Loophole

        Was not the case recently ruled that people working for a certain taxi firm are actually employees, and not entrepreneurs or independent contractors?

        1. Arthur the cat Silver badge

          Re: Loophole

          I think that was Uber (or Uber-alike). I believe the key fact was that they had to take the jobs that the company gave them at the price the company set. My local taxi firm doesn't set prices (the council does that) and they just put jobs out for drivers to say yes or no to as they wish.

        2. MachDiamond Silver badge

          Re: Loophole

          "Was not the case recently ruled that people working for a certain taxi firm are actually employees, and not entrepreneurs or independent contractors?"

          In other places, everybody working as a driver is an employee EXCEPT for Uber/Lyft. That law is highly challenged as laws in the US have to be equal in application. Giving special dispensation to certain individuals or companies is generally not allowed. In California, the law has meant that shipment brokers that match shippers with truck owners is required to consider the independent owner/operators as employees. This is absurd as those truckers can accept or decline the loads and can makes bids on work if they want to make at least their costs to get back to their home base rather than dragging an empty trailer. It's just a dating site for freight.

      2. katrinab Silver badge

        Re: Loophole

        Deliveroo editions works like that.

        The have a kitchen in a warehouse on some industrial estate. You can get a space in the kitchen, and they take a commission from the orders they receive for your product.

        While the tax position on Deliveroo drivers has been challenged, I don't think anyone has a problem with the tax status of the people who make the food. You design the menu and set the prices, customers can choose between your products or someone else's. That is not the case for the delivery drivers.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Loophole

        Imagine I create a platform - a cupcake factory, where people can come and make cupcakes if they like and then other people may buy cupcakes off of them and I would take a cut of each sale.

        Sounds like a lease able commercial kitchen facility. We have these in the USA, don't you? Except it is rented by a period of time whether your cupcakes sell or not

        1. MachDiamond Silver badge

          Re: Loophole

          "Sounds like a lease able commercial kitchen facility. We have these in the USA, don't you? Except it is rented by a period of time whether your cupcakes sell or not"

          The metaphor is messy due to insurance and liability requirements. I'd make the argument using something like a maker space that people can join and use the facilities to make things. The maker space operator is completely decoupled from the things that people create and if they are doing so for their own enjoyment/use or as a commercial enterprise.

  22. Doogie Howser MD

    If only

    HMRC was quite as on the ball getting appropriate taxes from the likes of Google, Amazon, Apple, Starbucks et al.

  23. pimppetgaeghsr

    Seethe and cope, e-girls.

  24. Ernst Blofelt

    Pay tax to kings cousin you can stuff it mate.

    Pay tax, whilst we have a tax dodging Conservative government running the show

    Well if it's good enough for the ex Chancellor or the current PM's Missus to avoid

    any taxation then **** em.

    Keep your heads down kiddies and just say no !

  25. that one in the corner Silver badge

    Approximately 1/4 of the UK population are Content Creators/Influencers?

    Huh?

    What makes a Content Creator? Everyone who posts on FB when an email would do? Do comments on The Register get counted as well (though clearly only Gold Badges are getting the big bucks here)?

    Maybe I'm a Influencer and didn't even realise (well, 'Er Indoors does day I tell everyone what the ought to be doing)? Let's try: "Buy Wheaty Bits, They're Grrrrrrruel!".

    1. katrinab Silver badge
      Alert

      Re: Approximately 1/4 of the UK population are Content Creators/Influencers?

      Do you get paid to post ads for VPN services and Raid Shadow Legends?

      That's what makes the difference between an influencer and a content creator.

  26. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

    We believe our customers want to pay the right amount of tax...

    Yes, but when people such as The Chancellor of the Exchequer need professional help when declaring income then there is something wrong with The System. (I'm not just talking about recent, perhaps naive, incumbents of the post).

    It is far, far too complex for anyone to understand.

    I believe the vast majority of us do want to pay the correct amount of tax, but are fearful of communicating with HMRC*, lest they run into trouble for not saying the right things. They are almost as fearful communicating with an accountant because the clock ticks as soon as the conversation starts. And another thing... Money Laundering regulations make people fearful of speaking to their accountant because they do not know whether the Accountant will report them to the authorities for saying something that triggers the alarm bells.

    *Haha, if they can get through.

    1. MachDiamond Silver badge

      Re: We believe our customers want to pay the right amount of tax...

      "I believe the vast majority of us do want to pay the correct amount of tax, but are fearful of communicating with HMRC*, lest they run into trouble for not saying the right things."

      In the US, any advice you get from the IRS is not guaranteed. If they give incorrect or bad advice, you may still wind up paying fines and penalties if it leads to you submitting your paperwork incorrectly. If you use (and pay for) a tax accountant, they will often back up their advice/work with committing to pay any fines and penalties if they did something incorrectly. That's predicated on you giving them correct information. They won't have your back if you try to cheat. Is HMRC like this?

      1. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

        Re: We believe our customers want to pay the right amount of tax...

        I received a big bill from my accountant when I had an HMRC investigation many years ago (which ended up with me not owing or paying anything over and above what I'd already paid to HMRC). Since then my accountant brought in insurance to cover against such investigations (after the horse has bolted).

        In fairness, my accountant did warn that the "lumpy" figures being filed could precipitate an investigation, and advised me to accept his suggested amendments to spread out the lumpiness (i.e., to falsify the figures), but as it was my signature that was going on the accounts, not his, I declined on moral grounds. A case of honesty not being the best policy, which does not encourage people to tell the truth.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Tax advisor-cum-influencer Jessica Narweh

    Think you need to rephrase that title unless it's her other job on only fans

  28. Martin-73 Silver badge
    Holmes

    Interesting grey area here...

    Things like 'superchat' (a gift given during live streams either to get your question highlighted, or just to say thanks to the creator without signing up to an ongoing subscription)... Under UK law would that not count as a gift, as it's given voluntarily, and NOT as a requirement to participate...

  29. bpfh
    WTF?

    Our customers?

    > HMRC simply winked: "We believe our customers want to pay the right amount of tax

    How the hell can the tax office call taxpayers "customers" ? Seems to be a big stretch of linguistics....

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Our customers?

      The same way as everybody is an actor of some sort, we all consume paper books, movies and music, everything is actioned...

    2. MachDiamond Silver badge

      Re: Our customers?

      "How the hell can the tax office call taxpayers "customers" ? Seems to be a big stretch of linguistics...."

      It's the same as YouTubers saying things like "Today we are going to have a discussion about......" There is no "we" and also no "discussion". I suppose it sounds more friendly but has turned into one of my pet peeves in the same way as books that spend ink on writing down that they are going to cover certain things in the book. Sheez, what a waste. Since I'm often looking for instruction on how to do something when I search YT (if the info hasn't been banned by the platform), I have no issue with the presenter as saying something such as "In this video I am going to show you how to....." I don't mind that sort of preface in a video as it tells me right up front if they are going to cover the thing I'd like to learn.

  30. greenwood-IT

    Good news..

    I keep being told by "influencers" that it's a "real job", so I'm guessing that if the government accepts it as a real job, and they pay taxes, then they may be right :-)

    Interesting point about the $1,000 (?) from online activities, I'll have to check my Google and Amazon clickbait payments :-o

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    About time the millennials you cant do a side hustle and expect to not pay taxes. How do they expect healthcare to be funded?

  32. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

    "But with the field explosively doubling to 16 million in the UK"

    Really? Are dogs included as well in that figure?

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The content creators I have been invited to pay monies to are definitely *not* 16 year olds. I'd stake my freedom on it.

  34. CodeBlaster

    All tax is voluntary

    The Treasury / HMRC are for profit companies with entries on Dun & Bradstreet. As such, they relinquish their "sovereign" status and are required to adhere to the Companies Act 2006 and contract law. If HMRC demands money from you, ask to see the contract between you and them. They won't be able to produce it, because it doesn't exist. No contract, no obligation and you could argue that in court and win. The same with council tax. All government bodies are for profit companies, including the police and the courts - they have the same amount of power over the population as McDonalds or Tesco. The Clearfield Doctrine states that any for profit organisation is not fit to govern.

    There's also the small other detail of a court case in 2011 where it was found at Southwark Crown Court that it is highly probable that the UK gov funds and creates terrorism. Under the Terrorism Act 2006, anybody who knowingly funds an organisation that's involved in terrorism can themselves be prosecuted for funding terrorism, <cough> tax.

    1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      Re: All tax is voluntary

      You may find that if you can pay the tax required by law to the relevant bit of government, but without going through HMRC (or the equivalent for local government) then you might indeed get away with it when (not if) you land up in court. But that's a big "if", because ... the "service" they provide is "vouching to the government that you've paid the tax that the law requires" and I rather suspect that they are the monopoly provider. (I expect that's also the sense in which you are their "customer".)

  35. hairydog

    Income from online or other sources that is over £1000 is taxable, not taxed.

    If you have no other income, tax is not due unless your income (after allowing for expenses) is over £12,500.

    However, it does have to be declared on a tax return.

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I had a friend who was a tax inspector ...

    I got this tale out of him drunk once. That he decided that he would go after the big fish, and was almost instantly stomped into place because they all made fantastic "political contributions" every year and as such were basically not allowed to be touched. Stick to the middle fish, you can even go after the top end of the middle fish. And that the small fish cost too much for too little in return.

  37. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

    She put this down to crossed wires over the income tax-free personal allowance of £12,570 ($14,986.46) – the thinking being "I didn't make that much so I don't have to pay tax on it." In reality, online income over £1,000 ($1,192.24) counts as "trading" and is therefore taxed.

    So if you're self employed you dont get a " tax-free personal allowance " ???

    1. MachDiamond Silver badge

      "So if you're self employed you dont get a " tax-free personal allowance " ???"

      Not in the US and I suspect that every other first world country just copies the things they see other first world countries getting away with. As long as it doesn't impact political campaigns, they'll all tax as much as they can.

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So, basically Adobe is ratting out its customers?

    OK, it probably wasn't actually intending that its marketing research would wake up the pencil pushers at HMRC, but it accidentally highlighted another risk of using its software other than data acquisition of both creators and those that watch what they produce, but it all adds up.

    It appears you may be saving a lot more than just money by avoiding Adobe..

  39. gandalfcn Silver badge

    I'm surprised HMRC have been so tardy at tapping such an obvious source of revenue.

    "(Apparently there is a distinction between content creators and influencers, though we're not sure what it would be. Maybe the first actually does something creative and the other stands there holding a product and looking cool.)"

    That is an extreme;y good description.

    "However, considering that a large proportion will be young, they're not willfully tax dodging – they're just incompetent.:" Hmmm and Hmmm.

    1. MachDiamond Silver badge

      ""However, considering that a large proportion will be young, they're not willfully tax dodging – they're just incompetent.:" Hmmm and Hmmm."

      How to run a small business is another course that should be taught in the last couple of years of school. Taxes, insurance, having employees, accounting, etc. There are often government booklets prepared to help a person starting their first small business, but I've never seen one that is even mildly interesting. Most of them are horribly out of date by the time they've been approved for publication after 10 years of writing (the first 6 months is the writing and the next 9-1/2 years is tidling edits and approvals).

  40. r3dSurj
    Happy

    'cum-influencer' hahah

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