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Social media marketing that generates income now taxable: IRAS

On 15 March, the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) issued a letter to a number to bloggers stating that income received from social media marketing activities will be assessed as self-employed income and will be subject to tax.

In the statement, IRAS categorises blogging, YouTubing, as well as activities performed on any social media platform such as Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook as social media marketing when income is earned from these activities. Individuals engaging and earning income from such activities will be considered to be “carrying on a trade or business.”

Photo of the letter to Bloggers by Channel News Asia

Both monetary and non-monetary payments made are taxable, whether or not any contract regarding payment was signed. This includes payments received from advertisers as well as payments, goods or services provided to family or friends of a social media marketer.

To view the complete online statement by IRAS, click here.


a) If I work full-time as a salaried employee and part-time as a social media influencer such as blogger/YouTuber, etc. will the income earned on part-time basis be subject to tax?

Answer : Yes. The income you received from social media marketing activities such as blogging, YouTubing, etc. will be assessed as self-employed income once it is ascertained that you are carrying on a trade or business.

b) Does blogging and blogging-related activities only refer to updating posts on my website?

Answer : No. Any income received from marketing activities performed on social media platforms such as Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, etc. are also included.

c) I did not sign any contract prior to reviewing / promoting a product or service. Is the monetary / non-monetary payment still taxable?

Answer : As long as the payments are made in relation to your social media marketing activities, whether it is under contract or not, such payments are taxable.

d) I did not receive payments directly from the advertisers.

Answer : Payments are taxable regardless whether they are received directly from the advertisers, or indirectly through a social media influencer agency.

e) Are the products / services provided to my family / friends taxable?

Answer : Yes. If you and your family / friends are invited to a meal for 4 persons, you have to declare the market value of the meal for 4 persons, and not just your portion of the meal. The full value of the meal for 4 persons will be assessed in your name