We are starting to make some decent amount of money on YouTube starting this year and I need to know how much money in total we have to earn before paying taxes. I am sure Google is reporting all the money we are making on YouTube to the government. Right now, we've made about 4 grand so far. Average earning seems to be about one thousand dollar every 2 months. I am just looking for the taxable income amount regardless of the loss amount as duplicate question seems to be more concerned about. I live in the United States.

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    You say "we". Is the income being reported by YouTube as split among multiple parties, or is 1 person receiving the income and dispersing it? Or, are you using an LLC for the income to flow through and paying out from there?
    – BobbyScon
    Commented Mar 24, 2017 at 12:57
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    Possible duplicate of Do you have to file taxes even if you didn't make any money?
    – BobbyScon
    Commented Mar 24, 2017 at 12:57
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    is this your only income? Commented Mar 24, 2017 at 14:04
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    @mhoran_psprep Nope, I have a full time job and my wife is a homemaker. This Youtube Earning is under her name and SSN.
    – ThN
    Commented Mar 24, 2017 at 14:08
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    This means that any income from YouTube is taxable unless you are going the married filing separately route. Commented Mar 24, 2017 at 14:11

2 Answers 2


I'm not confident that the requirements for 2017 are up yet, but assuming they don't change much from those of 2016, then probably not if you have no other earnings this year.

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If you make $500 a month, then you will make $6,000 this year. This is below the filing requirements for most taxpayers, unless you are married but filing separately. At the end of 2017 you should tally up your earnings (including earnings from other sources) find which category you find yourself in on the table, and make a final determination of whether you'll need to file.

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    I added the image, to show the 2016 minimum numbers. As you stated, $6000 is below the limit, the image helps if members with other numbers or background should read this. Commented Mar 24, 2017 at 13:10
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    So, based on OP's comment about a separate full-time job that was added after this answer was posted, the income will need to be filed, even if they file separately. Commented Mar 24, 2017 at 15:46
  • @WesleyMarshall, thanks for the comment, I wouldn't have gotten a notification otherwise
    – Nosrac
    Commented Mar 24, 2017 at 15:50
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    As it turns out, it is precisely the MFS line which matters in this case (because of the OP's comments) - In order to not file, his wife would need to earn less than the 4k listed in the MFS limit. When filing MFJ, all income from both spouses would be included, as long as the total exceeds the limit. Commented Mar 24, 2017 at 15:52

Since your YouTube income is considered self-employment income and because you probably already made more than $400 in net income (after deducting expenses from the $4000 you've received so far), you will have to pay self-employment tax and file a return. This is according to the IRS's Publication 17 (2016), Your Federal Income Tax, so assumes the same rules for 2016 will remain in effect for 2017:

Self-Employed Persons

You are self-employed if you:

  • Carry on a trade or business as a sole proprietor,

  • Are an independent contractor,

  • Are a member of a partnership, or

  • Are in business for yourself in any other way.

Self-employment can include work in addition to your regular full-time business activities, such as certain part-time work you do at home or in addition to your regular job.

You must file a return if your gross income is at least as much as the filing requirement amount for your filing status and age (shown in Table 1-1). Also, you must file Form 1040 and Schedule SE (Form 1040), Self-Employment Tax, if:

  • Your net earnings from self-employment (excluding church employee income) were $400 or more, or

  • You had church employee income of $108.28 or more. (See Table 1-3.)

Use Schedule SE (Form 1040) to figure your self-employment tax. Self-employment tax is comparable to the social security and Medicare tax withheld from an employee's wages. For more information about this tax, see Pub. 334, Tax Guide for Small Business.

I'd also note that your predicted income is getting close to the level where you would need to pay Estimated Taxes, which for self-employed people work like the withholding taxes employers remove their employees paychecks and pay to the government. If you end up owing more than $1000 when you file your return you could be assessed penalties for not paying the Estimated Taxes. There is a grace period if you had to pay no taxes in the previous year (2016 in this case), that could let you escape those penalties.

  • Can you clarify: Would I have to pay self-employed taxes if I make say $4,000 a year through self employment and nothing else all year?
    – gnasher729
    Commented Mar 26, 2017 at 13:32
  • @gnasher729 Yes. If your net income (revenue minus expenses) from self-employment is greater than $400 in the year you have to pay self-employment taxes. It doesn't matter what your other sources of income are. Other sources of income may however bring your total income up to the point where it would affect whether you would have to pay regular income taxes or not.
    – Ross Ridge
    Commented Mar 26, 2017 at 18:35

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