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Iran introduces tax on social media influencers

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Iranian tax administration says social media influencers should pay income tax.

Iranian National Tax Administration (INTA) has introduced a tax on social media influencers as it seeks to increase its revenues from high earners in platforms like Instagram.

A decree signed by INTA chief Omid Ali Parsa published in local media outlets on Wednesday said that taxation of major influencers on social media platforms was in line with Iran’s budget law of the calendar year to March 2022.

“The income gained from advertising by social media users with a following of more than 500,000 would be subject to income tax,” read the decree.

It said the INTA would have two months to compile regulations and laws on the new tax scheme to submit it for final approval by the Iranian finance ministry.

It said the list of social media influencers that are taxable will be published on the website of the INTA after they are identified.

The announcement comes as Iran is continuing to expand its taxation schemes as part of government efforts to diversify the economy away from crude oil.

Facebook’s Instagram is the most popular social media platform in Iran although access to several other major outlets, including Facebook's website and mobile applications, is blocked in Iran.

Most followed Iranian accounts on Instgram include one that belongs to a standup comedian with 17 million followers.

Taxation of influencers and celebrities have become a hot topic in Iran in recent years, especially in light of the increasing popularity of social media applications and the spread of high-speed internet services in the country.

INTA’s announcement said that influencers have to submit their tax returns if they wish to enjoy legal cuts or discounts.

It said Iranian telecoms ministry and other government departments will contribute to the identification of social media users who will be subject to paying the new tax.

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