Income from blogs, vlogs and social media platforms – individual taxpayers
This guidance is for individual taxpayers and for self-employed individuals working under a business name.
The income you receive from social media is taxed the same way as any other income, i.e. there are no separate regulations for the taxation of income from social media. You pay tax on taxable income and are entitled to deductions in accordance with the general rules.
Receipts of cash, receipts of free products, and receipts of miscellaneous rewards and benefits are all subject to tax
Examples of taxable income may include:
- a sum of money you are paid as a remuneration for your cooperation with a company
- benefits you receive in some other form than money, including discounts, gift cards, value cards, free trips, free tickets
- free products you receive – unless the products are promotional samples or typical promotional gifts. See more detailed instructions.
No effect on your taxes is caused by whether or not you had agreed in advance with the company that a product or gift will be sent to you.
Gifts, products, benefits, and other forms of compensation are taxable income for you, and the value is the fair market value at the time when you receive the item. What is meant by “fair market value” is the product’s price in case you bought the product yourself and paid for it.
Example: You agree with a company to promote and showcase their product on social media for a certain period of time. After that, you get to keep the product. No other compensation was agreed on. The product’s fair market value is €1,000. This amount is taxable. It is treated as being part of your earned income.
Example: The organiser of an event sends you a free ticket to a music festival. During the festival weekend you are also invited to stay at a local hotel for free. The value of the festival ticket is €120 and the hotel weekend is valued at €350. Their total value, €470, is considered taxable earned income for you.
It may be that you receive products that fall under the category of usual promotional gifts. These include samples that companies send to potential consumers on an occasional basis. These products are considered promotional gifts if their selling price with VAT is no more than €50. Accordingly, usual promotional gifts do not constitute taxable income. However, if you are getting the product as a form of compensation after you advertised or promoted it on social media, the product’s fair market value would invariably be seen as taxable income for you. In this case, the 50-euro threshold and any specific features of the product are not important: the entire value of the received gift is subject to tax.
Example: A company sends you a product valued at €40 including VAT. The company does not insist that you promote the product on social media or that you should return it. So, the product is a usual promotional gift and it is not taxable income.
Example: You have previously cooperated with a company in terms of promotional activities. Now the company sends you an article of clothing worth €100 from its new collection. The gift is taxable income because its VAT-inclusive price is over €50.
You can deduct expenses that support your activity on social media
You can deduct the expenses incurred in acquiring or maintaining the income you have received from social media. You can deduct expenses from your social media income under the same principle as from any other income. However, you can only deduct the part of an expense that is directly connected to your social-media activity.
If you have received a taxable gift, its fair market value is taxable income. However, if you use the product in order to acquire income, you may deduct that part of the product’s fair market value.
Example: You received baking ingredients as a gift from a company. The value of the ingredients is €100. It is considered taxable income. You use all the baking ingredients you received to create baking-related social media content. In this case, you may deduct the value of the baking ingredients, €100, as expenses in your taxation.
How to report the income and expenses on your tax return
Individual taxpayer: Check your pre-completed tax return
If the income is missing from your pre-completed tax return, i.e. if the company that gave you the fee or benefit has not reported it to the Tax Administration, you need to add the income to the return. Also report the expenses relating to the income.
Remember to keep notes of your income and the expenses related to it. Do not enclose receipts with your tax return.
How to file in MyTax:
- Report your income and expenses under Other income in the Income-generating activity
- If you had an employment contract with the payor, report the income under Wages, salaries, fees and compensation. Report the expenses that relate to wage income under the section Expenses for the production of income - Expenses for the production of wage income.
- If you have received income from sources outside Finland, report the income and deductions from it under Foreign income - Foreign earned income.
How to file on paper forms
Use the correct form:
- Production of income: Form 11 Activities for the production of income
- Wage income: Form 50A Earned income and deductions
- Income received from foreign companies: Form 16A Statement on foreign income (earned income)
Self-employed individuals operating under a business name: You must submit the business tax return
If your income from social media is part of your business operations, i.e. you operate under a registered business name when you are active on social media, file the income and expenses on the business tax return.
Check whether you are liable to pay VAT
If your company’s turnover exceeds €15,000 in an accounting period, you must also register for VAT.
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