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Tax Authorities to Investigate Influencers

The tax authorities have requested information regarding the 2018 income of influencers, Viðskiptablaðið reports. The law stipulates that all income, regardless of its source, is to be filed.

The Directorate of Internal Revenue (RSK) has sent a letter to influencers and collaborating businesses requesting additional information regarding their financial transactions. Earlier this year, the tax authorities published a special guideline for influencers, which stated, among other things, that companies doing business with influencers must account for transactions “of any kind.”

Remunerations to influencers vary. In some cases, intermediaries connect influencers with businesses that offer monetary payments for their services; in other cases, businesses deal directly with influencers, often offering free products, trips abroad, use of vehicles, or discounts in exchange for the influencer generating interest among followers. Sometimes, such products and benefits are handed over unconditionally. In such cases, however, RSK stipulates that it is, “to be assumed that such a transaction involves the expectation that influencers advertise the product with their followers.”

This year’s Personal Income Issue (Tekjublaðið) of Frjáls Verslun magazine (Free Trade) included information on 25 individuals designated as influencers. Monthly income among influencers varied from ISK 93,000 per month to almost ISK 1.5 million. Median income was approximately ISK 330,000. Income is calculated based on income tax, not on capital income.

Besides the Directorate of Internal Revenue, the Consumer Agency has also been scrutinising influencers of late. The Consumer Agency regularly reprimands influencers for ignoring the standards for disclosure and transparency.

According to Merriam Webster, an influencer is a “person who is able to generate interest in something (such as a consumer product) by posting about it on social media.”

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