Social Media Influencers Will Now Need to Pay TDS on Free Gifts

Social media influencers have been a growing force in marketing in recent years, leveraging their online presence and followers to promote products and services. However, the Indian government’s recent move to impose a tax deduction at source (TDS) on free gifts received by influencers has sent shockwaves through the industry.

What is TDS and why is it being imposed on influencers?

TDS is a tax deduction that is collected at the source of income. The Indian government has now extended this to cover free gifts received by social media influencers in exchange for product promotion. The government’s rationale for this is that these free gifts are seen as income and therefore should be taxed accordingly.

Implications for social media influencers

The imposition of TDS on free gifts has major implications for social media influencers in India. In the past, influencers were able to receive free products from brands in exchange for promotion without having to pay any tax on them. However, this new move means that they will now be required to pay a tax of 2% on the value of these gifts. This could be a significant financial burden for influencers who often receive a large number of free products.

Impact on brands and the industry

The imposition of TDS on free gifts is likely to have a significant impact on both brands and the influencer marketing industry as a whole. Brands may be less likely to work with influencers in India if they are required to pay additional taxes on the products they give away. This could lead to a decrease in the number of sponsored posts and collaborations, ultimately affecting the incomes of social media influencers.

On the other hand, some experts argue that this move could actually have a positive impact on the industry by promoting greater transparency and accountability. By requiring influencers to disclose the value of the gifts they receive and pay taxes on them, it could help to reduce the prevalence of fake influencers and fraudulent activities.


The imposition of TDS on free gifts received by social media influencers is a significant development in the industry. While it may create additional financial burden for influencers, it could also help to promote greater transparency and accountability in the industry. Ultimately, the impact of this move on the influencer marketing industry in India remains to be seen, but it is clear that it will be closely watched by all those involved in the industry.

Leave a Reply