Taxes on Online Surveys – Is It Necessary? (It Depends)

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Taking online surveys and doing other online micro-tasks can be a great and easy way to earn some extra cash or gift cards.

But is it seen as regular income and do you have to pay taxes on your online survey earnings?

This is a question I often get here on, and therefore I wanted to make a guide that will show you what to consider and that can help you not to get into trouble with the law.

Before we start, I just want to make it clear that I am not a lawyer or a tax accountant so you should not see this as legal advice.

I am sharing my experiences after having taking thousands of online surveys and talked to thousands of other people that have done the same and have written this guide to help you get a good overview of what to consider when it comes to online surveys and taxes.

So let’s get started!

Are online surveys taxable?

If you have taken paid surveys already, you will know that often the survey sites offer either gift cards or cash as rewards.

However, in many countries, it does not really matter whether you are getting paid in gift cards or cash – it will be seen as taxable earnings no matter what.

But there can be some exceptions – in some countries, certain gift cards up to a certain amount might not be taxable.

And this is where it becomes a bit tricky. In general, how online surveys’ taxes are calculated (or not) depends a lot on your country.

In the US, it is, for example, considered as taxable income if you have earned more than $600 in a tax year from online surveys no matter if you have been paid in gift cards or cash.

In Australia, any kind of task you perform through online platforms needs to be reported in your tax return.

However, in some countries, there are not really any rules regarding this and in others, the tax laws are a bit more open for interpretation:-)

But overall, I think it is safe to say that officially any type of income you have will be seen as something you need to report on your tax return no matter your country.

There can then be some countries where you do not have to do this until after you have earned a certain amount by taking surveys or where they do not really charge any taxes on this.

Later I will give advice about how you can find info about the exact rules in your country.

Where to report online survey income?

Again, this will depend on the country you live in.

In the US, any company that has paid you more than $600 within a year must inform the IRS.

So if you have made more than $600 from a single site and live in the US, you will, in most cases be contacted by them and asked to submit a W-9 form. This will be the case whether you have been paid in cash or via gift cards.

However, if you have earned less than $600 you will not have to fill out the form but you will still have to declare the income when doing your taxes.

Also, you might very well end up making more than $600 in total but from different survey sites if you are just a little bit active with taking surveys.

In a case like that, you will also not receive a form to fill out as you will only be contacted by the company if you have made more than $600 from that single site. But you will then need to declare the income from all the different sites you have been using when doing your taxes.

In most other countries I am aware of, you will never be asked to fill out a form by the survey company itself no matter how much you have earned.

It will instead by up to you to make sure to declare your earnings when you do your taxes.

In the country where I currently live (Scandinavia), I am, for example, just declaring it as a part of my personal income online when I do my taxes. So it is not really difficult and does not take much extra time.

How much tax will you pay?

It is impossible to give an exact answer to how much tax you will have to pay on your survey earnings.

It will entirely depend on how much you have earned, if you have any other income, and then, of course, the country you live in.

So if you want to make sure before you start taking surveys, you should get some more help to look into your specific situation.

Below I will show where I would suggest you get this help for free so you do not have to pay an expensive advisor.

Where to get more help?

As mentioned, it is difficult to give exact answers about taxes as a lot of it comes down to your personal situation.

Some people might suggest you contact a tax advisor, an accountant, or similar. I would, however, NOT suggest you do this for a start unless you are making a lot of money.

You can quickly end up spending a lot of money like that and the point about taking surveys was likely to be able to earn some extra cash without having to spend any.

Therefore, I would instead suggest you contact your local tax authorities directly. They will definitely be able to give you exact answers and they will do this for free. They will also be able to advise you about how to register your income from taking surveys.

Below I will leave some links for the tax authorities in select countries:

If you do not live in one of these countries, just simply go to Google and look for your local tax authorities. Call them and then explain your situation and ask what you need to do and how to do it.

I hope this article has given you some more clearance about taxes for online surveys.

If you have any experiences with paying taxes for taking online surveys yourself, I would love to hear from you in a comment below.

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