Tax Tip – Here’s what you need to know if you are a social media influencer

If you earned income as a social media influencer or through similar circumstances, such as posts of pictures, videos and more on social media platforms that involve product placement or product promotion, you are considered to be undertaking a business activity. You can earn income in many ways, both monetary and non-monetary, including, but not limited to:

  • subscriptions to your channel(s) 
  • advertising (clickbait and brand advertisements) 
  • sponsorships 
  • merchandise sales or commission on sales 
  • tips or donations 
  • free perks such as products, clothes, trips
social media influencer
social media influencer

Income tax implications

All income (both monetary and non-monetary) that you earn through social media channels must be reported on your income tax return.

When do I need a GST/HST number?

GST/HST implications – There may be a reasonable expectation of profit from your online activities, and your total taxable supplies may be more than $30,000 over four calendar quarters. If so, you will need to register for, collect and pay to the CRA the goods and services tax / harmonized sales tax (GST/HST) on all taxable sales from your online activities. You can get more details on GST/HST registration requirements at Find out if you must register for a GST/HST account.

Business expenses

Since the income you make from social media is considered business income, you can deduct business expenses to reduce your tax owing. Your expenses must be reasonable and directly related to your income as a social media influencer. You must report these expenses on your income tax return. To learn what qualifies as an eligible business expense, go to Business expenses.

How to correct your tax affairs

If you did not report your income from platform sales and social media activities, you may have to pay tax, penalties and interest on the income. By correcting your tax affairs voluntarily, you can avoid or reduce penalties and interest.

To correct your tax affairs (including corrections to GST/HST returns) and report income that you did not report in previous years, you may:

More information

You can find more information on this topic at Canada.ca/platform-economy.

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