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YouTube Revenue as a hobby outside of Full Time employment

Newbie

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Replies 3

Hi,

 

I have been doing some YouTube creativity for a good part of 9 months roughly now, along-side my full time work which is software development. For me, I consider the YouTube as a hobby of mine but i'm writing this post to try clarify this if I would need to declare tax on any revenue I earn through YouTube moving forward. So after 8 months of doing YouTube content, without earning any revenue, I was able to get partnered with YouTube to start earning some revenue for the content I produce, which began exactly one month ago from today (6 Mar 2021). Since the day the channel had first gained some revenue, it has generated an estimated $4,000 in revenue since, which makes me question am I going to be earning too much to be considered a hobby?

 

I'll explain now what content I produce and what it looks like to produce 1 video on YouTube.

Some background first:
So the content I produce on YouTube are compilations/highlights of a specific live streamer who broadcasts live to a large audience on twitch.tv, by playing video games. For the past 3 years I would spend half my weekends watching his live broadcasts as long as the timezones and stream times were healthy as it's enjoyable and entertaining to watch. Weekdays it is difficult to catch these live streams as usually this persona streams during relative australian business hours - despite being a broadcaster abroad.

Twitch.tv has this function called 'clips', it allows the viewer to quickly capture upto 1 minute of footage from the livestream that has just elapsed that could've been some cool highlight or moment within the stream, and usually when a stream ends there is hundreds of these mini clips.

For mee, each day after work I enjoy watching these clips to catch up on what the live stream was about and so on. For the YouTube purpose, I watch these clips and then decide if I enjoyed it, found it funny etc then I save this clip to my computer and use an abundance of these clips to edit and create a video and produce it onto YouTube. Gathering clips each day could range anywhere from being 10 minutes to 30 minutes of my time. Editing the video itself really depends what sort of clips I decide to use and to what extent how much editing a clip needs. But editing one video can be vary alot, anywhere from 2 hours upto 8 hours again depending on the amount of editing I do. But really, about 10 hours on average is spent each week on the YouTube channel then the video is uploaded on. The editing also is mostly done on the saturday, or finish it on the sunday if incomplete. So yeah the revenue might seem alot for the amount of hours I put into it but the intention never was to generate an income from YouTube but to continue enjoying past broadcasts through highlights that I can create for others to enjoy too.

 

Thanks,

Adis.

1 ACCEPTED SOLUTION

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Most helpful response

ATO Community Support

Replies 2

Hey @AdisBosnjak,

 

Thanks for providing such thorough information for us.

 

Whether your YouTube activities are considered a hobby or a business is a self-determination, and we aren't able to make this determination on the forum. Thankfully our ATO website has a list of characteristics that may help with this, as no one single factor determines if you're running a business (ie earning an income as an isolated characteristic isn't enough to differentiate a hobby vs a business).

 

Some of the characteristics of a business are:

 

• You've made a decision to start a business and have done something about it to operate in a businesslike manner, such as  
    ○ registered a business name, or
    ○ obtained an ABN.
• You intend to make a profit – or genuinely believe you will make a profit from the activity – even if you are unlikely to do so in the short term.
• You repeat similar types of activities.
• The size or scale of your activity is consistent with other businesses in your industry.
• Your activity is planned, organised and carried out in a businesslike manner. This may include      
    ○ keeping business records and account books
    ○ having a separate business bank account
    ○ operating from business premises
    ○ having licenses or qualifications
    ○ having a registered business name.

 
Business Australia also provide an online tool specifically for artists, bloggers and creative content makers that outlines relevant government obligations for these activities.

 

There are a few posts on the forum that discuss earning YouTube revenue that you might want to check out too. I'll include the links further down and I think they're definitely worth a read.

 

Hopefully these provide some insight in helping with your determination, and best of luck with your online pursuits!

 

ATO Website- List of Characteristics

Business Australia- Hobby or Business (Help me work it out) Tool

Community Post- Tax implications regarding YouTube revenue
Community Post- YouTube Earnings (do I need to pay tax?)

 

RachATO

3 REPLIES 3

Most helpful response

ATO Community Support

Replies 2

Hey @AdisBosnjak,

 

Thanks for providing such thorough information for us.

 

Whether your YouTube activities are considered a hobby or a business is a self-determination, and we aren't able to make this determination on the forum. Thankfully our ATO website has a list of characteristics that may help with this, as no one single factor determines if you're running a business (ie earning an income as an isolated characteristic isn't enough to differentiate a hobby vs a business).

 

Some of the characteristics of a business are:

 

• You've made a decision to start a business and have done something about it to operate in a businesslike manner, such as  
    ○ registered a business name, or
    ○ obtained an ABN.
• You intend to make a profit – or genuinely believe you will make a profit from the activity – even if you are unlikely to do so in the short term.
• You repeat similar types of activities.
• The size or scale of your activity is consistent with other businesses in your industry.
• Your activity is planned, organised and carried out in a businesslike manner. This may include      
    ○ keeping business records and account books
    ○ having a separate business bank account
    ○ operating from business premises
    ○ having licenses or qualifications
    ○ having a registered business name.

 
Business Australia also provide an online tool specifically for artists, bloggers and creative content makers that outlines relevant government obligations for these activities.

 

There are a few posts on the forum that discuss earning YouTube revenue that you might want to check out too. I'll include the links further down and I think they're definitely worth a read.

 

Hopefully these provide some insight in helping with your determination, and best of luck with your online pursuits!

 

ATO Website- List of Characteristics

Business Australia- Hobby or Business (Help me work it out) Tool

Community Post- Tax implications regarding YouTube revenue
Community Post- YouTube Earnings (do I need to pay tax?)

 

RachATO

Newbie

Replies 0

Hi @RachATO ,

 

Thanks for promptly getting back to my post. I had a read through the related forum posts you kindly provided below, similarly I fall into that category just needing to explicitly determine if it is a hobby or not. For me, still consider it to be a hobby.

 

I answered the questions on the Business Australia Tool and i'll post my results with reasons below here:

- I intend for my creative work to be: a hobby

When I offer my creative work: I don’t charge (indication of hobby)

         - This is because posting to YouTube is free of charge and for a viewer to watch a video, is also free of charge. 

My creative work is: not for sale yet (indication of hobby)

         - Similarly to the previous point, there is no purchase fee when viewing my videos. Costs viewers nothing to watch the video.

My creative work is advertised or promoted: not at all (indication of hobby)

         - I have not promoted any videos myself, but it may occur that some persona might watch the video with their audience for their             own viewing pleasure, not for promotional sakes.

I offer my creative things under: a name other than my own that is not formally registered, like a label, website or brand 

         - (indication of either hobby or business)

         - Yes the name my profile is under is my online persona character/name that I've used for over 8 years within video games and             such. There is no evidence of my personal information found on the YouTube so my private presence on the platform is                       anonymous.

- The time I devote to my creative work is: when I can find time outside my full-time employment or responsibilities

         - (indication of hobby)

         - I mentioned in this thread that I do spend small bits of time here and there usually every day, but only after work hours and                   personal responsibilities are satisfies.

As part of my creative work, I keep records to: I don’t keep records (indication of hobby)

         - Not quite understanding the goal of this question because simply for me, once I have created the video, i'm satisfied with the               content, I have uploaded it and now it is viewable to an audience. This footage is then deleted from my computer.

         - The platform itself holds a variety of analytics, from views gained per minute/day/month/year. Earnings per day/month/year,                 audience type, variety of audience etc. This is always stored on the YouTube platform itself, but I do not save this data for my               own records.

Have you already registered for any of these for your creative work? none of the above

         - The possible answers were:

         - ABN

         - ASIC

         - Intellectual Property

         - GST

         - PAYG

         - I haven't even given a single thought to any of these options with YouTube. It really is simply creating an account, making the             video and uploading it to an audience.

 

As all answers suggest, it is considered heavily a hobby but hopefully I have provided the right take for each question. If I should phone up the ATO and discuss this, please let me know. 

 

Thanks,

Adis.

ATO Community Support

Replies 0

Hi @AdisBosnjak,

 

Thank you for providing your responses in relation to the Business assistance tool. As @RachATO advised in her response,  whether your YouTube activities are considered a hobby or a business is a self-determination, and we aren't able to make this determination on the forum.

 

If you are unsure and you would like a definitive answer, you can write in to our early engagement team. They can consider your circumstances and provide you with a written response. This way you will know whether you have reporting requirements and next steps to take.

 

Link-

Early engagement team.

 

All the best.