Non-U.S. Creators: Do This to Avoid a 24% Tax on YouTube Revenue

Non-U.S. Creators: Do This to Avoid a 24% Tax on YouTube Revenue

Google will soon withhold taxes from your YouTube revenue. This only applies to non-U.S. creators, and there's a penalty for not submitting your tax information.

Do you live outside the U.S. and make money on YouTube? If so, you have a new tax responsibility this year. Creators in this group must submit tax information to Google or potentially have 24% of their revenue deducted for taxes.

As an example, let's say you make $100 on YouTube. If you don’t submit your tax information, the platform may automatically deduct $24 from your revenue.

That's less likely to happen if you submit the appropriate information. In that case, Google will only deduct taxes from the income you earn from U.S. viewers. So if you earn $100, and only $20 comes from U.S. viewers, taxes will be withheld from the $20 portion – not the entire $100.

This isn’t a YouTube rule, per se. Google is doing this to comply with a U.S. tax law. On this support page, the platform posted the following update:

“Google has a responsibility under Chapter 3 of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code to collect tax info, withhold taxes, and report to the Internal Revenue Service (the U.S. tax authority, also known as the IRS) when a YouTube Partner Program creator on YouTube earns royalty revenue from viewers in the U.S.”

For more information, watch our video summarizing the new tax requirement:

Worried about your YouTube revenue? Here’s what you need to do to keep your taxes in check.

Submit Your Tax Information In Google AdSense

Non-U.S. creators may see taxes withheld from their revenue as early as June 2021. To avoid a general, 24% withholding, submit your tax information on Google AdSense by May 31, 2021.

To get started:

  1. Log in to Google AdSense.
  2. Click Payments in the left navigation menu.
  3. In the settings section, click Manage Settings.
  4. Scroll down to the U.S. tax info section. Hover your mouse over the pencil icon and click Manage Tax Info.
  5. Complete the questionnaire to determine which tax form you need to fill out. You can do this online, and the form will be available in the language of your AdSense account.

Need help reaching this section? Watch this video from YouTube Creators, which includes a brief tutorial:

Typically, individuals will fill out form W-8BEN and businesses will complete form W-8BEN-E. Before you do anything, speak to a licensed tax professional about your specific situation.

If you’re part of a multi-channel network, you still need to log in to AdSense and complete these steps.

How Much U.S. Tax Will You Have to Pay?

How much you’ll be taxed depends on three things:

  1. Whether your country has a tax treaty with the U.S.
  2. Whether you’ve submitted your tax information to Google
  3. How much of your revenue comes from U.S. viewers

If you submit tax information, you’ll see the withholding rate in the payments section of your AdSense account. This number is between 0% and 30% and will be applied to all U.S. revenue. That includes income from Channel Memberships, Super Chats and Stickers, and YouTube Premium.

You may owe fewer taxes if your country has a tax treaty with the U.S. For example, creators in the United Kingdom and Canada could have a tax rate of 0%, thanks to treaty laws. In countries like Mexico or Korea, your rate could be 10%.

Living in a treaty location doesn’t qualify you for a tax benefit. But if you submit your tax information now, you have a chance to claim the benefit and reduce your tax responsibility.

Do Taxes Outside the U.S. Still Apply to YouTube Revenue?

Yes! You will still be taxed on income earned in your country, so do your research and plan ahead. Everything in this blog applies to the U.S. aspect of your taxable income.

Editor’s note: The information in this blog is not legal tax advice. If you need guidance, speak to a licensed tax professional.