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Taxes: Know'm and Pay'm

Let me be blunt: every single creator who makes money through their content should consult a local tax professional to get a firm handle on their responsibilities. What you owe to your local government, how it should be paid, what forms need to be filled out and when, all of this changes from country to country, jurisdiction to jurisdiction, and there will be no better source of accurate information than someone in the field. For this reason, this lesson will remain relatively short. That being said, there are a few things we can point out.

Content creators are self-employed. While the income you generate might be coming in the form of ad revenue from companies like Twitch or YouTube, or from endorsement deals with individual brands, you are not an employee of those companies. Meanwhile, the money you make is, indeed, income. This means that you’ll be required to pay income tax on your earnings, and won’t be receiving documentation from an employer to simplify the process of filing. A good working knowledge of your local tax codes is pivotal to making sure you stay within the law, and also prevents you from spending income that should be reserved for taxes, thus damaging your budget.

Self-employment, though, might also provide benefits that can, also, only be confirmed and taken advantage of with the assistance of an expert. In certain circumstances, you might be able to reduce your tax liability by writing off investments made on your content, including equipment, travel expenses, or even a percentage of rent. Let me be clear: I am not a tax professional, and not everyone will be able to take advantage of these or other tax-related benefits to self-employment. This is why reaching out to a local professional is so important.

The reality is, if you’re going to approach your craft with the seriousness required to turn it into a profession, you’ll have to treat yourself like a business, and businesses understand the tax landscape in which they operate. You need to do the same.