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!

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Author

Kelly Phillips Erb is a tax attorney, tax writer, and podcaster.

22 Comments

  1. Very nice, although I thought for sure you would have drafted a faux rev. ruling to accompany this piece. If nothing else it would have given you a chance to use the word “eleemosynary” in a sentence.

  2. pretty funny…..

    Happy Bar Application Postmark Due Date!

    I mean, April Fool’s Day….

  3. Actually, this isn’t far from the truth if you consider that you don’t have to pay taxes on all the money you’d be making if you spent your time on activities that generate income!

  4. Thanks guys! And yep, Sean, if we were actually making money, there would be a real tax concern… so see, we’re SAVING tax dollars by foregoing income!

  5. Damn it, I fell for it. Though I’m aware of April Fools posts, I simply cannot stay alert for every single one. =P

  6. One statement that kind of triggered is that you said Problogger is billionaire? – Not true. He makes $250.000 – taxes – advertisings =180.000 he is blogger for only 5 years.

    Anyways awesome post, i love it. I also wrote about you and your recommendations “advices” if you don’t mind.

    I hate this time of year, they take so much taxes out of my blogging income i can’t believe !

  7. Found you through Liz. Loved the Problogger with Darren bit. It tickles my fancy to think Darren is worth ‘almost’ as much as The Donald.
    Great post.

  8. How did I miss this?!

    I fully support having Pittwatch be exempt from tax. I practically provide an essential service! 🙂

  9. This is surprising. I really wonder what lobby got through to them. Maybe blogging works for them too. I know blogging works to get me motivated.

    The only question I have, does this mean they are promoting more bloggers? I belive there is some flawed views going into this. It will be fun to watch this unfold.

  10. LOL… this is one of the better april fool’s jokes i’ve come across in the blogging community…!

  11. Oh crap! You had me too. But then again, I read this after April Fool’s Day. Otherwise, I probably would have caught on. Kelly, I think you have too much time on your hands!!!! 😛

  12. Hi everyone, Happy Fool’s Day!!

    A musical director was having a lot of trouble with one drummer. He talked and talked and talked with the drummer, but his performance simply didn’t improve.
    Finally, before the whole orchestra, he said, “When a musician just can’t handle his instrument and doesn’t improve when given help, they take away the instrument, and give him two sticks, and make him a drummer.”
    A stage whisper was heard from the percussion section: “And if he can’t handle even that, they take away one of his sticks and make him a conductor.”

    Happy April Fool’s Day!

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