Tips for bloggers from experts
As a blogger with different sources of income, you can quickly find yourself squatting between chairs when it comes to income tax, sales tax and social security. ME is because the legal situation is simply light years behind the actual professional reality of many people in this country and the development of the Internet.
All the more I was glad that tax consultant Rüdiger Schaar has dealt with this topic in great detail in a really good guest post on mediadigital.de, the blog of my colleague Ulrike Langer. For example, he also deals with the tax treatment of people who blog while working hard.
Schaar, who manages for Freischreiber, the professional association of freelance journalists, a hotline on all matters relating to the tax and the Künstlersozialkasse, also comments on the value added tax of social payment services.
According to the expert, their revenues, even if they are surrendered from abroad, are still subject to VAT in Germany, with 7%.
After yesterday, with Ulrike Langer, a brief, lively discussion at Twitter about sales from abroad, I was briefly a bit confused, as the now looks with advertising revenues, for example of Google Adsense or revenue via Paypal.
Revenues from abroad are not equal to foreign revenues
After some research and reflection, I think I have found the solution to the puzzle - but I would like experts to teach me better and would then update this article accordingly:
If I understand correctly, this applies to the sales tax liability in Germany just for social payment services, because here, although the money ultimately comes from abroad, the performance - ie the writing of the text and the payment by the reader - but in Germany have occurred.
VAT Act §3
In the case of advertising income, on the other hand, you provide your service for a company based abroad, so sales tax is also due there. Advertising is also listed separately as other services in paragraph 4 of the Sales Tax Act 3.
Other useful information I found on Meetinx. Although the article is already older, this situation has apparently remained the same. More information on new / old regulation of Umsatzsteuergestzes Mediafon.de, unfortunately, without explicitly addressing the issue of advertising.
At the very end of the contribution Schaar goes to a very different point: The trade tax liability, which arises in advertising - albeit starting from a net profit of 24.500 Euro a year.
Advertising income in terms of social security law could be much more problematic for freelance journalists who are insured through the artists 'social security fund: Schaar writes: “If the (advertising) placement generates more than 4.800 euros in profit per year, the 50% subsidy from the artists' social security fund ceases to apply Health insurance. However, a subsidy to the statutory pension insurance remains. ”
Even if I would basically agree with this, the KSK website says something else: A business registration is just as little a requirement for compulsory insurance under the KSVG as it is a reason for exclusion. So maybe first ask the KSK in individual cases and describe your own situation?
The cross with copyright!
In addition to taxes and social security, copyright law can also cause problems. The idea of making money with blogging is so popular because everyone can actually get started: set up a blog, write something interesting, build up reach (eg with Twitter) - done .. or something ... But that could happen soon change if these freedoms are restricted. There are already approaches to this.
You might know: You clicked on a certain video on YouTube, maybe because foreign friends posted you on Facebook pointed out - and then this: “This video is not available in your country”. Reason: copyright claims. Well, you think, it doesn't matter with a few videos, there are still enough free offers on the Internet, just click on.
Net neutrality in the discussion
Unfortunately, it might look different soon. For some weeks now, the topic of network neutrality is being actively discussed not only in Germany. In short, this means that all content / data packets are no longer being transported in the network at the same speed.
This could mean for readers in the end, that content in the end is no longer used to - how this can look in practice, netzwertig.com has aptly described (and for the insiders: Yes, I have read the discussion about it whether it really is a true restriction of net neutrality, but it is a good example to demonstrate the effect.)
New evidence for an old debate
For the reader, this restriction of freedom is not nice, but for bloggers it could mean even more: namely that your own blog is significantly slower, readers and thus income are lost. The debate about net neutrality is not new - however, recently there have been various attempts by network operators to restrict this, as netzwertig.com shows at a glance: The Spanish telephone company Telefonica, for example, announced that it would ask content providers to pay.
Telecommunications boss René Oberman defended differentiated pricing of data that is transmitted in the telecommunications network. And Google reportedly negotiated with the US telecommunications provider Verizon to give preference to certain data in Verizon's networks against payment.
However, critics fear that the changes will not happen suddenly and unexpectedly, but will gradually creep in: there will be a charge for a data package here, then you pay extra for a service - until finally freely available content, as we know it today, of the past belong.
On the other hand, there has been resistance on the website of the Initiative Pro-Netzneutralität (Virtual Network Initiative). The fact that there are not even 10.000 signatures so far is presumably due to the fact that it has so far hardly been possible to find a broad public for this important but complex topic.
Twitter is the broadcasting media
Regulatory claims on Internet content, which is spread in blogs or at Twitter, however, there might also be from other side.
The Bavarian Prime Minister Horst Seehofer had stated at the opening speech of the Munich Media Conference on Wednesday, Internet was broadcasting. Private broadcasting is regulated in Germany by the state media authorities. The managing director of the Bavarian State Media Authority BLM, Martin Gebrande, relativised the statement of the Prime Minister on Wednesday in a podium discussion to the effect that broadcasting is a linear medium that must be suggestive. Moreover, in Bavaria there would only be an obligation to provide information for radio-like online services such as Web radio or WebTV so far, if they would reach more than 500 users in their streams.
5.000 Euro for Twitter channel with more than 500 followers?
The Munich Isar Round drew the following conclusion from these statements: “If the Bavarian state government sticks to Horst Seehofer's statement and if the statements of the BLM managing director, Martin Gebrande, are understood correctly, a Twitter account with more than 500 would have to be used Be a radio offering to followers. ” Twitterers with over 500 followers could then face costs of 5.000.
In order to prevent this and to achieve legal certainty, the Isarrunde has registered its Twitter channel, and only this, as a radio offer on the Internet. Michael Praetorius personally presented the managing director of the Bavarian regional center for new media, Martin Gebrande, with the completed form from the BLM website for displaying an Internet radio program. If the BML accepts the registration, the Isarrunde-Twitter must pay 5.000 euros.
What's the point?
But not only: Such a decision would probably also affect all other Twitter channels. May we soon pay all 5.000 euros? For Praetorius, whom I asked exactly this question about the deep in a telephone call on Tuesday Sense the action is about more:
“If the Landesmedienanstallt rejects the application, you can discuss their right to exist as a regulatory authority. If you agree to the application, however, a Bavarian authority will claim Twitter - and you definitely have to discuss that! ”
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