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Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Are "donations" to bloggers taxable income?

Anyone who reads weblogs on a regular basis knows that many blogs contain buttons that readers can click to leave a monetary "donation" via PayPal or some other payment system. When the readers do so, are the bloggers supposed to be reporting the "donations" on their income tax returns?

My own view: Yes. For further discussion, go here.

Comments (10)

Hey, maybe the PayPal button itself marks the line between "tip" and "gift." If I'm just an anonymous blogger who doesn't solicit money to support my addiction, but someone tracks me down and sends me money, sure, I could see that as a gift.

But it would be a little disingenuous to say "there's (paypal) no social expectation that (paypal) anyone will (paypal) send me money via THE PAYPAL BUTTON ON THE LEFT."

I always just assumed that were reportable. Not that I've yet managed to accumulate enough income from any combintion of sources to make it matter anyway. But I've always just assumed reader contributions were reportable.

Odd that I never even realized there was some sort of open conversation about the matter.

All income from whatever source derived....all income from whatever source derived...

Yay! I did learn something last semester! =)

Jack, I suppose it depends on whether it's a commercial website like yours, supported by your big-bucks sponsor Marqui. :-)

Seriously though, couldn't you offset the income received by your expenses of operating the blog (extra bandwidth, etc.) up to the amount of the income, even if any additional "loss" is nondeductible because it is essentially a hobby?

You are correct, sir. But what expenses does a blog entail, besides bourbon?

But what expenses does a blog entail, besides bourbon?

I think this needs to become the tagline for this site. Or maybe you can license it out to BlueOregon.

Oh, mannn...the way that I've been shilling for 'cask' wines lately, I really ought to be building it in as a tagline (can I adapt this, please?) and shilling myself out to the cask wine vendors for some extra green (or at least a spare box or two.)

Must do some Google searches for 'cask wine' and then hone my pitch accordingly...

Didn't channel 12 jus do some news story on the new interest in box wine?


You of all people should know that everything is deductible (its often called a "return position"). :-) The real question is, will the blog contribution deduction survive an audit?

What about gifts sent from the blogger's Amazon.com Wish List? I get gifts occasionally from readers -- do I need to include them as "income"?


Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Are "donations" to bloggers taxable income?:

» More Nerdery -- Bloggers, Listen Up! from mellow-drama
Professor Bainbridge, who decided that group blogs like the Volokh Conspiracy are general partnerships, has also pointed out that money bloggers earn from their tip jars should be factored in as income. (Bojack and others discussing it here and here.) [Read More]

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