Taxes for influencers: What is the impact of the new Sunat tax?

After a thoughtful analysis, the National Superintendence of Customs and Tax Administration (Sunat) determined in its , in June, that influencers have to pay taxes as a third category. But what does this measure consist of and what will be the consequences in practice?

According to the tax expert Luis García Romero, a partner at Estudio Muñiz, this tax corresponds to a rate of 29.5%, and is based on the fact that income comes from capital, work and the joint application of both factors.

In that sense, the lawyer explained that the Sunat report lists four very particular types of income.

  • First, when the company pays the influencers with money or in kind. “Many times influencers receive this type of income. For example, a department store wants you to advertise one of its items and gives you that product for free.”, he referred.
  • The second is when the income from the digital platforms -where they operate- is used to produce video advertising or digital content.
  • Third is for the income that comes from your followers on social networks. “There are pages that give you priority access to certain content”, he mentioned.
  • Fourth to monetize in the exploitation of the digital channel or platform.

The figure of influencers has appeared in the last five years and there was great doubt about the income category, but, with all this analysis, Sunat determines that it is third category income”, underlined the lawyer.

Laura Spoya and Franda, renowned Peruvian influencers.  (Photo: Instagram)
Laura Spoya and Franda, renowned Peruvian influencers. (Photo: Instagram)

What are the consequences of paying taxes in the third category?

García Romero argued that now the influencer must keep accounting books, depending on the tax regime you have chosen. You will also have to request proof of payment (invoices) and all its services will be taxed with the IGV (18%).

It was obvious that the influencer pays tribute. Now they must keep accounts, something that these natural persons had never contemplated and their incomes are much higher by 29.5%. They will operate as a sole proprietorship. This implies hiring a good accountant“, accurate.

He added that those who hire the influencers will have to receive an invoice, to support the expenses for the payments, either in kind or cash.

It not only forces influencers to issue an invoice, but also companies to demand the invoice to deduct expenses“, I note.

For the expert in tax matters, the report of the collecting entity is an opinion that constitutes a mandatory compliance, but “should be agreed upon in a standard”.

That Sunat has expressed its position is a good thing. Having things clear, whether we share or not, is better, that way you will measure your risks. I would not say that it can generate more informality, but there are already fixed rules with a very debatable position”, he pointed out.

Is corporate income correct for all influencer activities?

The lawyer pointed out that the influencers’ income is debatable and that it must be analyzed on a case-by-case basis. In that sense, he listed that his activities could fit into any category:

  • The influencer could say in case he does: “I rent my website so you can put ads”, then, it is first class rent. Taxation is 5%.
  • Another perhaps points out “you exploit my image, my name, for which I will charge you a royalty”, then it is second-rate income. Taxation is 5%.
  • If you will provide your professional services for fees (be it advertising, marketing, or other), then it is fourth category income. Taxation is a progressive scale from 0 to 30%.
  • I could also calmly say it is a business activity, therefore, it is third category income. Taxation is 29.5%.

If an influencer rebels by saying that his activity does not belong to third category income, he could go on appeal to the Tax Court, who will have the last word, but in part he loses due to a clear opinion from Sunat”, affirmed Luis Garcia.

Facebook Cholo Mena
Facebook Cholo Mena

How many influencers are in Sunat’s sights?

Currently there are only 250 influencers identified by Sunat for the payment of taxes generated through social networks. That is, it is 0.24% of the total of 104,000 that there are approximately in this universe in the country, estimated the Alegra.com portal.

Along these lines, the accounting and electronic invoicing platform for MSMEs provided some steps to follow so that influencers are prepared with this new regulation that can be quite a challenge:

Enroll in the Single Taxpayer Registry (RUC) as a natural person with a business or legal entity (third category). What scheme could I join? There are four types of tax regimes that will depend on the activity and the level of income you have per month.

  • New Single Simplified Regime (NRUS). With an income limit of S/ 8,000 per month or up to S/ 96,000 per year.
  • Special Income Regime (RER). With an income limit of up to S/ 525,000 per year.
  • MYPE Tax Regime (RMT). With net income that does not exceed 1,700 UIT in the taxable year.
  • General Regime (RG). No income limits.
Source: Sunat
Source: Sunat

Another tip is issue electronic payment receipts for the sales and/or services you perform, for which you can choose an electronic issuance systemthat facilitates and saves you time in the issuance and sending of electronic invoices or bills of sale.

It should be taken into account that although the Sunat system is free, it can be tedious and inefficient, due to the constant crashes it presents.”, he narrowed down.

Also declare and pay taxes in a timely manner, keep accounting books, such as requesting proof of payment for purchases related to the line of business.

What happens if the influencer does not declare their income?

The Alegra platform detailed that failure to comply with your tax obligations within the established deadlines constitutes a tax infraction sanctioned with fines established in the Tax Code.

However, by regularizing on time and voluntarily, you can access the established gradual regime.

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