Published July 28th, 2017 by

How Do YouTubers Pay Taxes

Content marketing has become a crucial marketing strategy in today’s era of internet. Every business is now concentrating on a number of creative ways it can deliver content to its customers. With the widespread usage of web services, it has now become crucial to the businesses to make use of content marketing channels and spread the message. While these channels are many to name – newsletter mails, blogs, social media pages etc., currently it is video content marketing channels that are gaining popularity in the content marketing world.

You might well have witnessed this either while you are searching something on the internet or while you are going through your social media feed. Businesses now are focusing on this aspect of marketing to reach their target audience. Video making has become a lucrative profession and video content developers are highly paid once their videos become viral over the internet. The moment we discuss about videos and video making, the term YouTube would certainly ring in your mind. Such is its popularity. YouTube has emerged as one of the most popular video streaming sites and is now considered as a rich source of income to people. YouTubers are huge money makers with millions of subscribers to their channels and billions of views to the videos they make.

Now the question is, how much money do YouTubers make? There is no exact answer to this question. The fact about how much money a YouTuber earns per view is that, it varies depending on the popularity of the YouTuber. But to mention, YouTube pays at least $1 per 1000 views. So the more popular the YouTuber is, more are views for his/her video. However, this varies even with the advertisers’ willingness to pay if the YouTuber is associated with brands and ad agencies. Top YouTubers in the world earn in millions per annum. Below is a list of top YouTubers and figures of their earnings:

  1. PewDiePie who is a Swedish YouTuber has more than 54 million subscribers to his channel and his annual earnings are estimated to be around $15 million. PewDiePie started his YouTube channel in the year 2010 and now tops the chart of highly paid YouTubers.
  2. Lilly Singh mostly known as ||Superwoman||, a Canadain vlogger has started her YouTube channel in the year 2010. And now her channel has more than 11 million subscribers helping her make around $7.5 million annually.
  3. Anthony Padilla and Ian Hecoxhave gained a lot of popularity since their YouTube channel was started in the year 2005. This duo that makes parody videos on pop culture and video games has 22 million subscribers on its channel. Their annual income amounts to around $8 million.

Now that you have an answer to how much money do YouTubers make per view, I would like to ask this question: Do you think the above mentioned earnings are so much for making videos? Well, these are the current figures and they might even get double in the near future. Now that you have known that YouTubers earn huge amounts, you might now get a doubt if these YouTubers pay taxes on what they have earned? Well, the answer is yes.

In this article, we shall share a few tax saving tips. That being said, please be informed that we are not charted accountants. We cannot help you file taxes. But yes, we can share some tax saving tips. Here is a quick rundown on the same:

Employee vs Freelancer

Employee vs Freelancer

Are you an employee? If you are an employee working on video projects, you are likely to be on the payroll of your employer. More often than not, the paychecks you receive are tax deducted and therefore, you need not bother about filing taxes separately. To get refund, you are required to fill Form W-2. On the other hand, if your employer gives you form W 1099, you are being paid the full amount owed. The onus lies on you to pay the tax. Independent contractors and freelancers are usually required to fill W 1099 form.

Multiple Sources of Income

Multiple Sources of IncomeI know quite a few people who work as freelancers in multiple capacities with multiple clients. For instance, I have seen bloggers working as content marketers, content writers working as digital evangelists etc. If your primary income is through AdSense or your network, IRS puts you under the bracket of ‘self-employed’. If your annual earnings are more than $600,you will receivea 1099-Misc form which details out your earnings. If you have worked in multiple capacities with multiple clients, you will receive multiple 1099-Misc forms. Be informed that IRS is very well aware of your earnings from different sources and hence, it is important to file your taxes. If you haven’t received 1099-Misc from your employer, contact your employer or Google AdSense support team.


Do not live in denial. It makes sense to look for loopholes and deductions. IRS gives you complete leeway when it comes to leveraging expenses that are considered ‘ordinary, necessary and reasonable.’  Here is a genuine list (not an exhaustive list) of expenses that a YouTuber incurs:

Home Office: YouTubers generally have a home office / space dedicated to shooting videos. It is important to have home office to not compromise on video quality. Room should be well lit. It should be resistant to noise and cacophony. Maintenance and set-up costs associated with home office are tax deductible.

Equipment: YouTubers are required to invest in professional camera, tripod, lens, video editing software, external hard disks and other necessary paraphernalia. Fret not, this investment is tax deductible.

Consultants and Advisors: Amateurs often hire consultants and advisors to get the groove of video marketing. The fee paid to consultants and advisors is tax deductible.

Advertising and Promotion: The game plan in video marketing is simple- Advertise, promote and if necessary, sponsor. All the three pursuits are tax deductible.

Video Conferences: If you attendany premium video conferences and paid career building events, your expenses are tax deductible.

Request for More Time

Filing taxes might seem overwhelming for beginners. For all intents and purposes, you can request IRS for exemption. However, the bad news is that you are still required to pay IRS some portion of your estimated tax. Don’t worry, if you end up overpaying, you can always claim the extra amount by applying for a refund. More often than not, people overpay to avoid heavy penalties.s

Be Genuine and Honest

Take heart from the fact that taxpayers contribute to the economy. Be genuine and honest. Behave like a YouTube champion, go for the kill and do not let deceit and duplicity cloud your work ethics.

If you have any doubts or concerns, feel free to drop a line or two in the comments section. I shall reply in a day or two. For expert advice and insights on live video streaming frameworks, subscribe to our newsletter. We can help you build an online live video streaming website. Keep watching this space for tips on YouTube marketing. My best wishes are with you and your venture. Cheers!



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