In the last 10 years, with the explosion of the web, social platforms, the world of communication and, above all, marketing has undergone an upheaval that has changed – forever – the ways in which advertising is spoken. The topic is of pressing relevance, because between web companies, big tech and more or less well-known influencers, states have been trying for some time to understand how to tax the income of the new protagonists of the global economy.
The center of gravity of communication has moved from vertical CD channels (radio/TV), which dominated the scene from the Second World War until the early 2000s, to horizontal channels (web platforms and social networks). And it is precisely in this context that the “Influencers” have taken hold and gained the limelight, subjects who, by sharing their daily routines, photographs, recipes and thoughts ranging from fashion to entertainment with the general public , from politics to sport, exploit their empathetic and communicative skills, transforming their audience of followers into a powerhouse of profit. Nowadays, there are thousands of companies that choose to divert a large part of the capital to invest in advertising, to hire those Influencers who can guarantee immediate returns in image and sales.
The tax profiles
But what are the tax profiles related to these activities? The topic, in fact, concerns the broader context of taxation of the digital economy, because between the absence (in many cases) of taxation of digital platforms who are based abroad and failure to tax the income of content creators for the proceeds they earn from promoting products, the damage to the Treasury is likely to be enormous and significant. We specify that, when the influencer’s income does not exceed 5 thousand euros a year, we would find ourselves faced with an occasional worker, who will enjoy VAT exemption and who will also avoid registration with the INPS separate management. In this case, then, if the turnover did not exceed the annual threshold of 4,800 euros, the lender in question would not even be required to submit the tax return.
To fall into the specified category, however, the following hypotheses must also occur. First of all, the activity must be carried out occasionally and without constraints of subordination, secondly it must be carried out in total autonomy regarding the times and methods of execution. Finally, the work must not be carried out in a professional manner or in any case must not be organized independently, without the aid of any permanent organisation, its own collaborators or professional studios; if, however, the proceeds exceed this threshold, we would find ourselves faced with truly self-employed workers, with the obligation to open a VAT number (flat-rate or ordinary regime, depending on the declaration) and the obligation to issue an electronic invoice. Paragraph 54 of the latest Budget Law has raised the revenue and compensation threshold to benefit from the flat-rate regime, up to 85 thousand euros, discounting a substitute tax to the ordinary one, of 15% (5% for new activities for the first 5 years from the opening of the business ). There are no time limits for remaining in the flat-rate regime. The only essential requirement, in order not to pass to the ordinary regime, is not exceeding the income thresholds indicated in the maximum amount of 85 thousand euros per year.