Are YouTubers About To Be Taxed For Their Videos?

18 October 2016, 17:20 | Updated: 17 July 2017, 12:21

We the Unicorns

By Liam Dryden

France just introduced a "YouTube tax" that will take a cut of online video's ad revenue - what does this mean for creators?

Earning money on YouTube is a tricky game. You have to pull in enough views from people who have advertising enabled; and after that, it's highly likely that Google (and maybe your management) will take a cut of what you earn. But what would happen if governments enforced an extra "YouTube tax" on top of that?

tyler oakley youtube tax

This is something that French lawmakers have actually voted into play this week, Fortune reports. While it still has to pass the National Assembly before it becomes law, it would impose a levy of 2% on all revenue generated from online video; meaning sites like Netflix and Vimeo would be affected too. Not only that, but it would be raised to 10% for videos of a pornographic or violence-inciting nature.

youtube tax

The belief is that this proposal was brought into play after European countries began to take issue with US tech giants like Google and Apple; who are globally-used organisations but do not pay a reflective amount in taxes.

What does this mean for YouTubers, though?

Truly the million-dollar question to anybody who cares, is how this potential dip in revenue will affect creators. With YouTube's "new" terms of service that sparked #YouTubeIsOverParty just a couple of months ago, creators are already trying to find different sources of income off the platform. And if other countries attempt to follow France's lead and introduce additional taxes, that's a lot of percentages that will be slowly shaved off the top of their income.

youtube tax

But your favourites creators probably don't have to start tightening their belts just yet; because there are a lot more hoops to jump through before this becomes official. Apparently a similar law to this "YouTube tax" was attempted in 2010 without success, and it would also have to be approved by the European commission.