Local and global tax collectors are set to start reaching into your digital pockets, with platforms like YouTube announcing a tax on creators and SARS coming for OnlyFans.
WORDS BY: Yolisa Mkele
Apparently only two things are ever certain in life — death and taxes — and even for digital content creators it would seem like the taxman cometh. Recently both the South Africa Revenue Service (SARS) and Google announced that they would be coming to claim their pound of taxable flesh from creators in those spaces.
Most recently and to the chagrin of kids making reaction videos across the globe, YouTube’s parent company Google announced that it would be taxing any creator who made money from the platform, regardless of where they lived. In a statement on the company’s help page it said: “All monetising creators on YouTube, regardless of their location in the world, are required to provide tax info. If your tax info isn’t provided by May 31 2021, Google may be required to deduct up to 24% of your total earnings worldwide.”
For South African creators, making money off of YouTube audiences in the US, what that means is that one would have to (if you already haven’t) submit your tax info on the website by following a few steps or risk losing nearly a quarter of your revenue.
The site’s help service goes on to explain that if you are a content creator outside of the US then “if you submit US tax info, withholding rates are between 0-30% on earnings you generate from viewers in the US and depend on whether your country has a tax treaty relationship with the United States”. In short, it is probably best to have a chat to someone who gets paid to figure out tax things and take the necessary steps.
In the case of SARS, the story goes a little something like this. Earlier this year, our local tax collector informed us that all purchases and subscriptions on OnlyFans would be subject to 15% VAT. OnlyFans is a subscription-based social media platform that allows creators to charge “fans” for content. While it has become famous for being the go-to place to find pictures of your favourite Instagram models in the nude, the site has also become very popular among more family friendly creators like Cari B and DJ Khaled. Speaking to iol.co.za,SARS spokesperson Anton Fisher explained that any company operating in SA was required to “register for VAT and charge VAT on sales made to its customers” so make sure your things are in order with the taxman before living it up on IG.