Bloggers 'not entitled to tax-free lunch' - online poll
Most people believe the taxman should come down hard on bloggers and other 'social media influencers' who don't declare monetary and other 'gifts', a new survey reveals.
A poll of 800 people on the tax website taxback.com found that 70pc of respondents believe the Revenue Commissioners are not doing enough to clamp down on people who are paid to endorse goods and services online - or receive goods in kind - yet do not declare them.
More than a third of respondents (34pc) said they don't believe that bloggers and 'Instagram celebrities' are declaring the fruits of their endorsements.
But close to 40pc of respondents felt they might not be aware they are breaking the law.
Some 37pc of those polled said that it was likely that the online 'endorsers' don't equate a free trip or product as a benefit in kind and realise that it could be taxable.
And just over a quarter of respondents (29pc) didn't believe there was a need to "police this industry more heavily than any other".
Officials from the Revenue Commissioners were not available for comment last night.
However, a spokesperson previously said that they now routinely scan the web to "identify, target and confront" bloggers who may be breaking the law by not declaring "products, or other non-monetary benefits, in return for posting online promotion of the product".
Sanctions could range from a warning to criminal prosecutions for tax evasion in more serious cases, a spokeswoman said.
The Advertising Standards Authority for Ireland and the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission now also monitor online ads for compliance with their disclosure rules.