It has recently been reported that CRA is reviewing social media accounts to see whether video game streamers’ and online influencers’ income is consistent with paid endorsements and other signs of income online. Video game streamers earn money by playing video games online. Influencers are those who have built a reputation online for their expertise in a certain area. CRA has stated they have conducted some initial research and will finalize a broader enforcement plan. They also specifically noted that they have been looking at influencers with incomes in excess of $500,000.
An individual from CRA also specifically noted that the content that individuals post on their Facebook pages and Twitter feeds provides a lot of surprising open-source intelligence. As well, they noted that many video game streamers have millions of followers on YouTube or Twitch.
As an example, an online video game commentator and musician with a YouTube channel earned US$17 million in 2018 (according to a Google spokesperson).
ACTION ITEM: Be aware of your online activity as it can inform CRA of compliance activity.
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