The ATO Is Hunting Down Aussie Influencers Who Try Flogging The Free Shit They’re Gifted For $$$

Scene from Emily in Paris when Emily is sitting on green park bench. ATO is cracking down on influencers who try onselling gifted items to avoid paying tax on them.

The Australian Taxation Office is cracking down on naughty little influencers who try flogging the freebies they’re gifted so they don’t have to pay tax on ’em, which honestly sounds like something Lindsay Bluth Fünke would do if Arrested Development was still running today.

You simply have to laugh that this is a thing the ATO is being forced to tackle, don’t you? Australian influencers trying to evade tax like they’re Teresa Giudice from The Real Housewives of New Jersey? Because I am cackling. I am snorting like a tiny piggy who just found a new vat of slop to ram my snout in.

Industry insiders told the Courier Mail that many an influencer struggles with the “moral debate” around onselling shit they’re either gifted, or are given for free as a form of payment. When you think about it, it’s basically like Sophie’s choice with Gucci and teeth whitening kits instead of human children.

“If a company has gifted me an item of clothing to wear to an event, personally I don’t feel like I deserve to earn an income from that; in my eyes, that would be like eating two slices of cake,” one influencer from Queensland, who didn’t want to be named, told the Courier Mail.

“Many don’t feel this way and while the item is still ‘current season’ will list on Depop.

“Many designers have alerts online to see when their items have been listed — and I’ve heard stories of the listings being traced back to talent.”

Another insider the publication spoke to said they knew of an influencer who was black-listed by a brand ‘cos they were caught flogging around $15,000 worth of gifted clothing on Depop.


The ATO comes into it ‘cos influencers are subject to specific tax rules when they’re gifted products as payment.

Basically, if a brand slings an influencer a dress and says, “It’s on the house, we just want you to fang a few Insta pics up to promote it,” the item is still considered a form of income, thus it’s taxable. And if they try and flog it on Depop for cash, it doesn’t matter ‘cos the frock is still subject to tax.

“We have sophisticated data-matching and analytical tools that enable us to identify people that may be under-reporting their income from a range of activities,” an ATO spokesman told the Courier Mail.

“Where we identify people that have made a genuine mistake, we will support them in understanding the law and get them back on track.”

And there you have it. If you see some delicious little Miaou sets — current season, of course — listed on Depop by your favourite influencers, just be careful. It wouldn’t surprise me if we started seeing Bottega Veneta bags being stashed away on the Cayman Islands soon.