Youtube Tax Question

Discussion in 'Wealth Creation & Management' started by miniroo, Sep 13, 2017.

  1. miniroo

    miniroo Well-Known Member Silver Stacker

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    Hi all, I don't know if anyone else earns money from youtube but I just have a tax question if anyone can help.

    I just got off the phone to the tax office to ask where I declare youtube earnings in the tax form.
    The person said I don't need to declare anything if I consider it a hobby.

    I don't understand this as I earn money and assumed any kind of money coming in is taxable.
    She said unless I treated it as a business and earn't hundreds of thousands of dollars it's really just a hobby,
    and if I consider it a hobby then that's what it is.

    She did understand what I was doing and told her I upload regularly, have a subscriber base and told her my earnings per month, yet she insisted it's still a hobby very much like if I made wood carvings and sold them.

    I don't trust this info, last year when I accidentally hit the 10k mark on ebay, I had to declare it as an income, yet youtube earns more and I don't have to declare it?

    I told her I don't want to get locked up for tax fraud and she just laughed and said don't worry about it.

    Does this sound normal?
     
  2. Silver Soul

    Silver Soul Well-Known Member Silver Stacker

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    I would be seeking advice from a good tax accountant. ;)
     
  3. sammy

    sammy Active Member Silver Stacker

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    I'm not an accountant but I do have a YouTube income ... and what I've been told is that it's taxable income. I think you'd have a hard time explaining to the ATO that your hobby earns you more than 10k each year.

    What's your channel?
     
  4. SilverDJ

    SilverDJ Well-Known Member

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    Correct.
    If it's a hobby to you and passes the ATO "hobby" test, which is or was "no reasonable expectation to make a profit", then you pay no tax.
    Doesn't matter where it's Youtube, ebay, or selling knitted toilet dollies at your local market.

    Yep, that's how it works, Youtube earning a cut on money they give you makes no difference to your personal tax circumstance.
    $10k a year is a lot for a hobby income, but if you ran it as a business and charged for all your time and expenses etc, you might legally be running at a loss. And in a related twist, the ATO won't let you run a business at a loss indefinitely either.

    Get it in writing.
     
  5. willrocks

    willrocks Well-Known Member Silver Stacker

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    Unless it's your full time job, or you earn a lot, it's a hobby. Relax.
     
  6. miniroo

    miniroo Well-Known Member Silver Stacker

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    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCMNtGapF13fwDLMR_sHmi6g

    Yeah almost exactly what she said, but added that if I did make 1 or 2 hundred grand a year then it would be difficult to prove it was a hobby but at my level it's a hobby.

    Well it isn't a full time job, I was self employed but since I did my back I wound down my recycling business and that is now hobby level too :)

    But... This I also explained to her, I'm actually registered with centrelink and what I do is tell them how much I earn from Y/T and scrap I sell, so they don't pay me most fortnights so it certainly counts to centrelink.
    But she said, yeah, nah centrelink is totally different, so as long as I declare to c/link what moneys come in i'm ok, it's still a hobby.

    I'm actually going to go full time with youtube as I'm building a new channel at the moment which will go live next month, it's a junk time entertainment type channel but in a reasonably lucrative niche along with amazon affiliation so I think at that point i'm going to treat it as a business, as having two channels couldn't be a hobby as I will then have "reasonable expectation to make a profit"

    But very interesting how they think, at least now I put it out there and since the #ATO lurk around these pages, technically I have made my declaration :)
     
  7. willrocks

    willrocks Well-Known Member Silver Stacker

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  8. SilverDJ

    SilverDJ Well-Known Member

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    Good luck with going full time.
    At the income level you are expecting you won't be paying a huge amount of tax anyway, as the first $18k is tax free on personal income.
    Definitely wouldn't want to go to a Pty Ltd at that level.
    Also, things like Patreon and Paypal donations are not taxable as they are "donations", as long as you don't promise anything material in return.
    Amazon affiliate income also can be classed as donations, as you are not providing a good or service. Just make it clear to your audience that "You can also donate via my Amazon affiliate link" or some such wording and you'll be covered.
     
  9. miniroo

    miniroo Well-Known Member Silver Stacker

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    I've been offered donations many times but I can't do that, it's just not my thing and it kinda annoys me when I watch some very big youtubers putting up video's on new stuff they bought from patreon gifts.
    I mean some of these guys have over a million subs and every video gets 100k+ views in the first hour and 2 million views in a week per video.
    In response to me not accepting donations though, some subs tell me they let the ads play through so it's similar to a donation.
     
  10. SilverDJ

    SilverDJ Well-Known Member

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    It's a legitimate tax scheme to actually investigate/guess declare a certain percentage of such income as donations in that case.
    You just need to document the reasons why you believe that, usually in consultation with your account.
     
  11. m3sca1

    m3sca1 Active Member

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    Hi Ben,
    Has the affiliate link thing generated any decent revenue?
    Reason I ask, is I just signed up to Amazon Associates...
    BTW I always let the ads roll on my fav youtubers channel, it is an easy way to reward such efforts!
     
  12. ozcopper

    ozcopper Administrator Staff Member

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    If you rely on youtube for income, you will be very disappointed!
     
  13. m3sca1

    m3sca1 Active Member

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    yes I know, after the adpocalypse, my channel took a hit for a spider battle video I had going really well. Copped a channel strike and my youtube money went down 60%
    it was only pocket money but now its just spare change!
     
  14. ozcopper

    ozcopper Administrator Staff Member

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    Yes, My channel income dropped by 90% for no reason, no strikes etc. I closed it so youtube wouldn't be making money from my videos and keeping most of it for themselves. Stuff them!
     
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  15. SilverDJ

    SilverDJ Well-Known Member

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    Why didn't you just demonetise your channel? that way no ads would show, and it would be costing Youtube money to host your videos, not them making money.
     
  16. Davros10

    Davros10 Well-Known Member Silver Stacker

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    On a separate but related issue the income I've earned from my hobby this season has been unexpectedly profitable which would normally be overwhelmingly positive, but brings with it a fair disincentive. My wife is a disability pensioner and I have reached the point where for every extra dollar I earn now she losses 40 cents in the dollar in payments, I need to pay 20c in the dollar tax, we need to pay 25c in the dollar extra rent and our family payments are also affected. The net result is for each extra dollar earned around $1.20 is lost.

    I have around $4000 owing from clients and I'm in 2 minds to let it go and not bother chasing. Not a very progressive taxation /welfare system.
     
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  17. miniroo

    miniroo Well-Known Member Silver Stacker

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    It really depends on the products your affiliating with and whether it relates to your viewers but in short yes it's been good so far.
    Especially if you buy stuff from amazon as instead of getting a cheque which takes a month to clear & $25, best to just get it put into your gift card account, I buy regularily from amazon anyway.
    It makes me about US$100 a month on average.]

    And yes, it eems more people understand how youtube revenue works and I get many comments on people saying they let ad's roll to support the channel, that's pretty awesome.
    also there's youtube red which they pay $10 for ad free viewing, revenue share from that is growing a lot too.

    As for youtube income, I have kinda inspired other scrappers to do youtube video's relating to scrapping & dumpster diving, as they are american and are more relatable to americans, they have taken off big time and are making around the same as I do in just 12 months.

    My channel has tripled in views & revenue this year even though there's many more scrappers on youtube, we support each other and there's plenty room for everyone, scrap metal is taking off again and lot's more people looking to make spare cash from junk so the niche is growing again back to what it was like when silver was $40oz, but this time more are wanting copper.

    The biggest earner on youtube hasn't even started their channel ;)
     
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  18. m3sca1

    m3sca1 Active Member

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    Thanks for your input Ben, really appreciate it.
     
  19. lowtech

    lowtech Active Member

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    Have any of you considered d-tube as a middle-finger to youtube?
     
  20. lowtech

    lowtech Active Member

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