Social networks have given way to a new universe of professions generally classified under the term “influencer” (in different variants tiktokers, instagramers, youtubers, etc.) which, although they make a residual contribution to national GDP, increasingly represent the way of life of a significant number of people and a growing trend in the world of advertising and sales strategy. Being an influencer does not yet have its own CNAE code or IAE epigraph, but that does not mean that it is not a real economic activity and is therefore free from the tax and legal obligations of any other entrepreneur. In this article we summarise what you should know about taxes for influencers.
The legal and fiscal obligations of an influencer are those of any person who carries out an economic activity:
- Register with Social Security.
- Registering with the tax authorities.
Do I need to register as self-employed?
The Law establishes that “anyone who habitually carries out a business or professional activity must register in the special regime for self-employed workers”. It is the concept of HABITUAL that generates some confusion and our recommendation is to evaluate each case. What income is being obtained (how much and when), whether there is another economic activity as a worker in the general regime or not are, for example, relevant factors.
Is there a tax on influencers?
From a tax point of view, the tax authorities are much more strict. If you have income from an activity, you must register it with the tax office and pay the corresponding taxes. The Inland Revenue always wins.
That is to say, when you see that you are going to generate income, it is important that you contact a management company like us to carry out the registration procedures with the Inland Revenue and see how to organise this activity correctly and save yourself unpleasant surprises. Remember that when a brand pays you for making a post, video or content, this payment is recorded in their accounts and will therefore be known by the tax authorities.
When you register you will have to file VAT and IRPF taxes. We can help you to keep your accounting and control of income and expenses, filing taxes and reviewing the notifications of the administration. So make sure your paperwork is up to date without wasting your time.
What if they don’t pay me money but give me free things or services such as a hotel stay?
These types of agreements are also taxable. If, for example, you are invited to spend a weekend in a hotel in exchange for making posts about it, this stay is a payment in kind. These “non-monetary” payments are taxed at market value.
In order to register with the tax authorities and pay taxes for influencers, what IAE epigraph (Spanish tax code) should I use?
There is no specific epigraph for influencers, but there are 3 IAE options that may fit your activity:
- The most general, Epigraph 899 “Other professionals related to services”.
- Epigraph 844 “Advertising, public relations and similar services” in cases where the income comes from advertising.
- In cases where videos are uploaded online on a regular basis as the main activity: Heading 961.1 “Production of cinematographic films”.
Do you have doubts about which IAE epigraph to use as an influencer? Do you use different platforms and you are not sure which option fits your case? Contact us, we will analyse your case and help you decide.
Remember that you need to be registered in an economic activity to be able to invoice and deduct expenses.
What expenses can I deduct as an influencer?
Since the Urgent Reform of Self-Employment, the different expenses may be deductible, as long as the self-employed person carries out the activity in a regulated manner (being registered with the tax authorities and the treasury) and has declared the meters of the home used for the activity on form 036.
It is important to stress that the expenses must be directly linked to the economic activity to be carried out and must be properly justified (with an invoice).
For example, if we are an influencer and we generate content on recipes and nutrition, it is legal to deduct the cost of a new food processor to carry out our work by presenting a real invoice. Trying to sneak in the cost of a holiday in Tenerife with your partner might not be. We always review each case and help you to apply a legal and logical criterion.
Tax-deductible expenses for influencers
This is a key point where common bad practices are causing the Inland Revenue to send numerous requests.
Strictly speaking, you can only deduct household supplies such as water, gas, fibre or ADSL, electricity, etc. if you have declared to the Inland Revenue that part of the home is used for economic activity.
It is important to bear in mind that the Inland Revenue is very punctilious. If, for example, we declare that 25% of the surface area of our flat is used for our activity, we cannot simply apply this 25% to all the expenses, it is necessary to verify that the amount we declare is reasonable and duly justified.
In rental contracts or homes owned prior to 1 January 2015 that still benefit from the deduction in income for main residence, declaring that the home is affected by the activity to be able to deduct these expenses is in almost all cases a mistake as we lose the right to this deduction which is substantial and very advantageous.
You will find online articles stating that you can deduct a % of the rent or mortgage payment if you work from home, or that you can include purchases of clothes and props as deductible expenses without reason or order. Our experience is that the tax authorities take a close look at these expenses and to avoid penalties and inspections it is best to clearly define for each case which expenses are deductible and what documentation we should have on file to prove it.
Other deductible expenses for self-employed influencers in the IRPF income tax
- Per diems: between 26.67 and 53.34 euros per day (depending on whether or not the person spends the night outside the province where the activity is usually carried out) may be deducted as per diem expenses. If the work is carried out outside the country, the deduction increases to 91.35 euros per day.
- Operating expenses: purchases consumed in the exercise of your activity.
- Social security (self-employed contributions).
- Other personnel expenses such as those derived from training courses and others not considered purely liberal.
- Leases for the rental of movable or immovable property, and royalties paid for patents, trademarks and others derived from industrial property.
- Repairs and maintenance (not including extensions and improvements).
- Services of independent professionals (invoices for hiring professional services such as lawyers’ fees, etc.).
- Other services: insurance premiums, banking services, advertising, publicity, advertising, PR. ….
- Tax deductible taxes
- Depreciation and provisions
- Health insurance: with a limit of 500 euros (or 1500 for people with disabilities).
- Expenses that are difficult to justify (expenses without receipt or invoice): maximum limit of 2,000 euros.
- The following will never be deductible, among others: fines and penalties, donations.
And what if I do nothing?
This is a high risk.
Nowadays, the tax authorities have a record of all the payments and collections that we make through the bank. In addition, even if you are not registered, the companies that hire you as an influencer declare that payment as an expense and that puts you on the AEAT’s radar. It is better to be safe than to receive a notification from the tax authorities.
Also bear in mind that depending on the content you create, you can have an accident, such as the famous accident of Paula Gonu taking pictures with a drone. If you are registered as self-employed, cases of this type would be treated as work-related accidents and could give rise to a benefit.
Note: The values of deductible limits in this article “Taxes for influencers” may vary but are current at the date of publication.