Tax requirements for MCNs and affiliate channels

Google withholds U.S. taxes on earnings you generate from viewers in the U.S. If you haven’t already, submit your U.S. tax info in AdSense so Google can determine your correct withholding rate. If tax info isn’t provided, Google may be required to withhold at the maximum rate.

Google is required to collect tax info from creators in the YouTube Partner Program (YPP). If any tax deductions apply, Google will withhold taxes on YouTube earnings from viewers in the U.S. This article is specific to affiliate creators in a multi-channel network (MCN). Learn more about tax withholding on YouTube here, and visit our comprehensive FAQ article: Submitting your U.S. tax info to Google

Important: Google will never send unsolicited messages asking for your password or other personal information. Before clicking a link, always check the email is sent from a @youtube.com or @google.com email address.

Information for affiliates 

Part of a multi-channel network (MCN)? Then you need to provide U.S. tax info in the AdSense account linked to your channel. This information is used to determine withholding taxes, if any apply. To ensure that withholding taxes are calculated properly, your AdSense account should be in your legal name or the legal name of your business. Also, the address information on file should match your permanent residence for tax and legal purposes.   

Your channel’s revenue will continue being paid out to your MCN partner. If any withholding taxes apply, these will be withheld from the payment made to your MCN for your channel’s revenue. 

The withholding amounts will not be visible in YouTube Analytics, so these will have to be manually calculated using the logic here. Your MCN will be given a report on a monthly basis outlining the total amount of U.S. taxes withheld. 

If you submitted your valid U.S. tax info after withholding began and you qualify for a lower tax rate, the withholding rate will be adjusted in the next payment cycle. 

Tax refunds for affiliates

Unfortunately, Google is unable to provide refunds to affiliate channels in MCNs. Affiliates subject to U.S. withholding tax should receive either Form 1042-S or Form 1099 by April 14 of the following year. If eligible, this form may be used to seek a refund from the IRS (the U.S. tax authority). We recommend you seek professional tax advice to this end.

Information for MCNs 

A MCN’s YouTube earnings for Owned & Operated content owners may also be subject to U.S. withholding taxes. Google will use the tax info submitted in your AdSense account to calculate withholding taxes for your owned and operated content owners. This includes any other individual channels or content owners linked to the account that are not affiliates. 

If any withholding taxes apply, you will see this in your AdSense Payments Report. For affiliate tax withholdings, you will be provided with an additional report. We will share more details about this report later this year. 

Google will send tax reporting forms (e.g. 1042-S, 1099-MISC) directly to affiliate channels based on the tax information they provide in the AdSense account linked to their channel.

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