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Thread: Tax issues For Affiliate Marketers

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    Brandon Dennis is offline Newbie Net Builder
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    Tax issues For Affiliate Marketers

    With the economy in such a mess lately, a lot of people are turning to affiliate marketing to make a decent wage and still get to stay at home. Let's face it, with the way things are these days, many people can't afford babysitters or have some other reason that they need to be home frequently. When used correctly, in a truly capitalistic economy, affiliate marketing can be a godsend to those who find themselves in these types of situations. The problem with affiliate marketing, however, as is with any stay-at-home career, you don't have office personnel who are responsible for handling the financial burdens of running a company - because if you really think about it, as an affiliate marketer, you are basically running your own business which provides a very important and precise service. Hopefully this article will provide you with a little guidance and reassurance on how to best handle the financial issues that affiliate marketers have to deal with on a daily basis. Let us begin.

    Amazon Tax
    The first thing I'd like to address about affiliate marketing is the dreaded "Aamzon Tax" that several states (mainly in the North) have implimented in order to increase revenue for the State. The tax isn't directly imposed on the affiliate marketers but rather the companies (such as Amazon.com) that have affiliate marketers in those states. The states claim that by having representatives in those states, the company in question holds a physical presence there that is subjected to taxation. The reason that the tax is nicknamed the Amazon Tax is because Amazon.com is the most prominent in fighting the legislation. In the meantime, however, the big companies that have affiliate marketing services available have made it so that if you do live in a state that has these types of laws then you are not permitted to work for the company. This has caused many people, who make their living on affiliate marketing, to leave those states and start up their affiliate marketing business in a state that does not have this tax. So in all practicality, the tax doesn't make much, if any, revenue for the state as its forcing those few people to leave the state altogether. Amazon has apologized for these measures but they hold the belief that if they don't stand up for justice then no one will. If you do happen to live in one of these states with the new tax then I implore you to call up your Congressman and give them a royal piece of your mind concerning the Amazon Tax.

    Should I Hire Someone
    Amazon tax aside, many people suffer from loads of taxes and expenses from one thing or another and can hardly get by, much less deal with all of this complicated financial business. You may be asking yourself "Well should I just hire an accountant to deal with all of this for me?" but you have no idea where to start. First of all, I'd just like to say that in this day and age with computer programs widely available at the click of a mouse that can compute all of your bills for you and even tell you how to save money on your taxes, there's no real reason to hire an accountant to do that for you. If you do decide to hire someone, however, you will want to make sure that the person is very credible and works for a high-standing company. Usually you don't want to hire a freelance accountant unless you know them personally because accountants are usually given access to all of your financial information. The last thing you want is to find out that your accountant isn't really an accountant at all and has used up your social security money and cashed out your investments to take a trip to Hawaii. Just check the guy out first and do extensive research. Also don't limit yourself to just one person's suggestion. Ask around, do research, get second opinions and third opinions. Your financial security and future are very crucial and you don't want one wrong opinion to screw that up for you. Afterall, it's not your accountant's finances that he's worried about so he's probably not gonna be as precautious with your finances than if they were his own.

    How To Budget Your Bills
    As with any freelance business, you will have to budget both your personal bills and your business bills. The best way that I can think of to do this is to just lump everything together. Put your business expenses with your personal expenses and put your business income with any personal income. A few types of business expenses would be taxes, internet connection fees, and any kind of advertising that you use to sponsor your affiliate marketing services. If you do it this way then you don't have to deal with two separate budgets and you can easily figure out how much you're profiting.

    Perspective
    It's also key to put things in perspective. I know it's annoying and extremely frustrating to deal with all of the aspects of running your own freelance business but try not to stress so much. When things are getting too tiresome, just take a day off and have some fun. Don't let business run your life. The whole point of your business is to supplement life; that doesn't mean that it IS your life. Don't take too much time off and get lazy about work but don't work too hard either.

    Anyway, I hope I've helped at least a few struggling affiliate marketers out there to figure out how to handle the impending financial burden that running a business like this implies. Be safe, get rich, but most importantly, be happy.

  2. #2
    Kovich's Avatar
    Kovich is offline Community Guardian
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    Unless the laws have changed, in the United States, you are required to report any affiliate earnings over $600 dollars with any one company. For example, if you earn $600 with Affiliate Network A and $500 with Affiliate Network B, you need only to report network A. Most networks will collect your tax information and even have you sign a W-9 form. I recommend you look into the specific tax laws for your government and state to be sure, and if you don't want to put yourself at risk, I further recommend that you file everything you're required to or sit down with a tax specialist at your local H&R Block or something.

    However, it's extremely unlikely that the IRS would find you if you didn't report your online earnings. Just sayin'

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    5starAffiliatePrograms's Avatar
    5starAffiliatePrograms is offline Affiliate Management Consultant
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kovich View Post
    Unless the laws have changed, in the United States, you are required to report any affiliate earnings over $600 dollars with any one company. For example, if you earn $600 with Affiliate Network A and $500 with Affiliate Network B, you need only to report network A. Most networks will collect your tax information and even have you sign a W-9 form. I recommend you look into the specific tax laws for your government and state to be sure, and if you don't want to put yourself at risk, I further recommend that you file everything you're required to or sit down with a tax specialist at your local H&R Block or something.

    However, it's extremely unlikely that the IRS would find you if you didn't report your online earnings. Just sayin'
    Actually this advice is UNTRUE and could get someone in trouble.

    Technically you need to report all income to the IRS, even if it's less than $600. The 600 rule is for merchants, advertisers and employers. They only have to ISSUE a 1099 if they pay someone more that 600, but affiliates are liable for reporting the income even if they don't get a 1099.
    Linda Buquet :: Affiliate Management Consultant
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