In a surprising move, the IRS has announced that it is considering exempting bloggers from paying income tax on money earned from blogging.
In its proposed regulations on the matter, the IRS pointed out that bloggers provide a valuable public service by making information available to the public for free. In some instances, this includes lurid details of the lives of politicians or photos of celebrities in distress that the public would otherwise have to pay for. This, the IRS noted, is akin to providing a charitable service.
“Besides,” the IRS stated, “Bloggers don’t make any money anyway, noting that in that regard they are almost acting like a charity by writing for free.”
Responding to criticisms that some bloggers actually do profit from their craft, notably Darren Rowse of Problogger who is rumored to be worth several billion dollars and has been photographed – more than once – lunching with Donald Trump, the IRS acknowledged that there were flaws in the proposed plan. However, the IRS is quick to point out that Problogger fan’s fervor over Rowse’s message is reminiscent of how a church congregation responds to their minister, leaving open the door that there may be a special “Blogging Religion” exemption for what the IRS Commissioner has labeled “super blogs.” Other blogs that might qualify for that special exemption are Copyblogger, Successful Blog and Pitt Watch. While the latter did raise eyebrows, the IRS pointed to traffic patterns on the site which suggest that there are a number of avid Pitt fans who visit the site more than one time per day – including the Content Manager at a top blogging network. “This woman is visibly moved by Brad Pitt news – how is that different from a church sermon? It is her Xanadu.”
The IRS went on to outline how bloggers might otherwise meet the “charitable, educational and religious” criteria required by the IRS for tax exempt status. In almost every scenario, bloggers fit the pattern of providing services to the public in a manner that could be described as charitable – except for Rosie O’Donnell’s blog which agents copped to merely finding confusing.
The IRS admits that the proposed legislation is a little out of the ordinary. It is, however, part of the IRS’ ongoing plan to portray itself as progressive, technologically advanced and in tune with the needs of taxpayers – they’ve even launched a YouTube campaign to reach taxpayers with questions about rebate checks.
At a press conference, the acting IRS commish announced, “It’s all part of our strategy to bring the IRS into the 20th century.”
When reminded that it was the 21st century, the IRS said simply, “Exactly.”
*** Happy April Fool’s Day!