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Top bloggers take on tax agency

Top bloggers take on tax agency

Published: 09 Apr 2010 16:28 GMT+02:00
Updated: 09 Apr 2010 16:28 GMT+02:00

Three women with enormously popular lifestyle blogs have joined forces in a rearguard action against the Swedish Tax Agency, which plans to tax the scribes for gifts they've received from firms keen to promote their products online.

The three-pronged counterattack comes after the Tax Agency announced it planned to examine presents given to some of the country's biggest bloggers in return for advertising.

"We've been interested in this activity [blogs] for a few years now since we feel there are incomes that should be taxed. So far there haven't been any legal cases or tax disputes but we are going to examine this year's declarations to see how bloggers have managed their incomes," said Karin Andersson at the Swedish Tax Agency (Skatteverket).

But the bloggers -- Katrin Zytomierska, Isabella "Blondinbella" Löwengrip och Alexandra "Kissie" Nilsson -- have now called on the agency to "cancel the witchhunt" in a jointly penned article published on NewzGlobe.

"Gift tax was abolished in 2005," the women write.

"There's no law saying we should pay tax for the gifts for we receive. So, end of discussion."

Karin Andersson sees things differently, however, suggesting the discussion may have just begun.

"We don't see these as presents and gifts. They may be regarded instead as payment bloggers receive for work they have done, since they write about the products and thereby serve to advertise them," she said.

The bloggers counter that they receive countless products on a regular basis, many of which are entirely irrelevant to their interests.

"In 90 percent of cases, the products that are couriered to us, mailed to us, or hung on our front doors are just crap that we're not in the least bit interested in. Generally it goes straight into the waste basket. Are we to pay tax on that too?"

The Tax Agency conceded that there were certain exceptions to the general rule that the products the bloggers received should be considered a form of payment.

"A one-off gift worth less than 225 kronor ($31) doesn't have to be declared. But if a company routinely sends products which, when taken in isolation might not be worth that amount, then it must be declared. If you've received products that you can't reasonably be expected to use, then that too may constitute an exception," said Karin Andersson.

The three women take up three of the top four places in Bloggportalen's list of Sweden's most popular "professional bloggers". Kissie currently attracts a whopping 1.1 million unique visitors a week, followed by Blondinbella in second with more than 500,000 and Katrin Zytomierska in fourth with 265,000.

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Your comments about this article

17:38 April 9, 2010 by Nemesis
As the so called journalists from the local are able to produce links to these 3 attention seekers, then how about starting to put in links for other articles?
18:39 April 9, 2010 by Greg in Canada
There are only two things in life that are guaranteed - death and taxes.

Some young attractive females seem to expect everything to be given to them. Sorry girls, but you have to pay taxes just like everybody else.
22:41 April 9, 2010 by GLO
Free the Girls !!! Hot chicks just need to be Free....

God bless Hot Chicks.....
23:46 April 9, 2010 by scrawler
I am not feel like reading the article just gazing the first lady from the left..!! oh..man she is the eye opener :)
03:09 April 10, 2010 by svenskdod
Seriously, the tax agency is out to kill any new entrepreneurial enterprise. Their disregard with the possibility that these people are creating an entirely new market is saddening. Any new field should have tax cuts if anything to promote growth.

Sweden has a very large "Blogg" culture, something that could be exported in some way. Instead of talking about taxing them, maybe they should be trying to figure out how they became so popular and export the idea in some way. blogg.se is huge right now, maybe buy the blog.co.uk sites or something.

Skateverket=one track mind.
10:02 April 10, 2010 by peropaco
@scrawler, the one from the left is the ugliest of the trio with those Chelsey Clinton cheeks and all. Google baboon's ass and then click on images and you will see her ;-)
17:04 April 10, 2010 by Donny Rover
Talking about baboon's ass I think somebody on here is talking out of theirs. The bimbo blogs aren't a "new entrepreneurial enterprise" at all and are not "creating an entirely new market".

They are receiving products from well established companies which already have a monopoly on an already existing market.

As others have said these shallow "ooh I'm so pretty and popular (because a few thousand pubescent girls read my blog)" should pay taxes like everybody else.

Sweden is traditionally a social democratic society where all are considered equal ie bimbos and shallow people are no better than anyone else and deserve absolutely no special treatment.
03:09 April 11, 2010 by xenyasai
If they are being taxed like anyone else would be taxed, let them pay. Just because they have a blog does not mean they should be treated differently. And what do these bimbos contribute to society, other than vanity?

I am a blogger myself and if I got paid for it, I would declare everything. Why? Better to be safe than sorry.

@svenskdod: Sweden has a unique blog culture? Sure, Sweden is ahead Norway when it comes to blogging (like everything else); but it is far from unique. It is actually far behind rest of the English speaking/writing blogosphere.
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