Elon musk had earlier in August announced that the subscribers of X Premium (Blue) will be eligible to receive their share in the ad revenue. The remuneration that individuals will receive from ‘X’, formerly known as Twitter, as part of its advertisement revenue are likely to be taxed 18% GST, experts have told news agency PTI. Experts are of the opinion that ad revenue received by individuals from microblogging platform ‘X’, will be treated as supply under the GST law and will be subject to 18 per cent tax.
However, they have also mentioned to PTI that the tax will only be imposed if the total income from various services, including rental income, interest on bank fixed deposit, and other professional services, rendered by an individual exceeds ₹20 lakh in a year.
Elon Musk had said that if an account has more than 15 million organic impressions on their posts within a span of three months those individuals will be eligible for the revenue sharing programme. Musk had further said that the account needed to have at least 500 followers to receive ad revenue. On 8 August, Elon Musk had shared that Twitter had paid premium users thousands of dollars this week in advertising revenue.
This individuals primarily include content creators on X, who can set up Ad Revenue Sharing and Creator Subscriptions independently. Several users had also shared that X or Twitter had paid them ad revenue. “Twitter just paid me $120.65 for 21,400,000 impressions in the past 104 days. For what it’s worth, YouTube paid me $241.31 in that exact same amount of time for 928,593 views and 6,159,005 impressions,” said one user. According to a report by PTI, experts have said that to levy the 18% Goods and Services Tax (GST) on the total income ₹20 Lakh or more, revenue share earnings from Twitter posts, and income from other sources, like interest, rental income will be calculated.
They also noted that the income from other sources will not be eligible for the GST otherwise, if not added with ad revenue from X.
Currently, individuals and entities earning revenues or income from services exceeding ₹20 lakh is liable to take Goods and Services Tax registration. The limit is ₹10 lakh for some special category states like Mizoram, Meghalaya, Manipur.
EY Tax Partner Saurabh Agarwal said to PTI that over the past few years, there has been a steady increase in the number of individuals making content for digital platforms and being remunerated for the same. “The said activities are subject to GST and therefore rendering it mandatory for such individuals to comply with registration, return and tax payment requirements where it exceeds the threshold of ₹20 lakh,” Agarwal said. Nangia Andersen LLP Partner Sandeep Jhunjhunwala told PTI, the content creator sources income from Twitter as a reward or in addition, from corporates as professional fee/ sponsorship.
“For a content creator in India, share in ad revenue from Twitter would qualify as ‘export of services’ in the nature of OIDAR under GST, considering Twitter is outside India and as a result, the place of supply is outside India,” Jhunjhunwala said.
Aggregate of all the sources of income including from professional fees and sponsorship, rent/ bank interest have to be considered for the purposes of computing threshold limit of ₹20 lakhs for the purposes of registration under GST laws for content creators, he added.