If you have a Web site, and you ever put Google ads on it, and you ever made a penny off those ads, congratulations! The Internal Revenue Service owns you.
According to the IRS you are a private contractor employed by Google; you are a business; and you will have to pay business taxes and the rates that go along with them. Doesn’t matter how big you are, how long ago you put those ads there, or whether you made $20 or $20,000 off them.
Boldfaced emphasis added by me.
WordPress puts the ads here. I don’t even see them unless I come in from a device other than the PC I use at home.
Do you know that this government can wind up killing most of the Internet with one capricious tax decree?
The decree would be: IRS calculates the monetary value of using a free site and taxes us based on that use. There are “in-kind” taxes that could easily be contorted to make this happen. The IRS could rule we’re obtaining taxable value in a way that makes us all wind up owing them something.
Or: They could decree that since WordPress is deriving monetary value from the ads on this site, I am therefore a WordPress contractor somehow liable for the value I’m adding to their system.
Yes, go ahead, IRS. Try to pull this shit.
Speed up The Overthrow.
Update: This gets worse. What will the IRS rule about affiliate links? Will everyone with Amazon affiliate links be capriciously deemed a contractor of Amazon and owe business taxes?
Update 2: What about those embedded Amazon Kindle book previews? Could they be ruled advertisements? What about any links that point to any commercial site at all? This thing could snowball very, very quickly.
Update 3: See: Cancel Christmas? Dissecting a Tax Drama? which is written by a CPA who specializes in taxes.