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YouTube, a video-sharing and social networking platform, has announced updates to its terms of service, stating that content creators outside the United States who do not meet the stipulated tax exemption requirements will now pay a 24 per cent tax from all the revenues entitled to them for their contents on it’s platform worldwide. 

According to YouTube, the revenues initially earned by content creators will now be treated as royalties from the United State’s tax system and as such, the new terms grants Google, the owner of YouTube, the rights to withhold any tax(revenue earned by a content creators) if such a content creator fails to provide tax documents.

“Royalty payments and tax withholding: For creators entitled to revenue payments, such payments will be treated as royalties from a U.S. tax perspective and Google will withhold taxes where required by law.”

YouTube had informed it’s users, via a mail, that it would be “required to deduct US taxes from payments to creators outside of the US”. It said, while no additional tax burden would be borne by YouTubers in America, the additional tax, however, is going to be levied on YouTubers outside the US.

According to it, “Over the next few weeks, we’ll be asking you to submit your tax info in AdSense to determine the correct amount of taxes to deduct, if any apply. If your tax info isn’t provided by May 31st, 2021, Google may be required to deduct up to 24% of your total earnings worldwide,” it said.

The YouTube’s new service terms has three new basic changes introduced which includes the taxing of content creators. The other two new changes in it’s new terms of service are also binding on all Youtubers as seen below.

YouTube’s right to monitize contents:

The online video-streaming platform announced, in an email notification it sent to all it’s users, that the new changes, which will take effect from June 1, 2021, also authorizes it to monitize every content on it’s platform without necessarily seeking the consent of the content creators.  What this simply means is that YouTube now has the undiluted right to show or display adverts from other channels which are not among it’s partners in every video content on it’s platform, regardless of whether the creator of such contents want it or not. According to the new terms of service, “YouTube has the right to monetize all content on the platform and ads may appear on videos from channels not in the YouTube Partner Program.”

Another change that YouTube introduced in its new terms of service is the Facial Recognition Restrictions which it said remains sacrosanct. “The Terms of Service already state that you cannot collect any information that might identify a person without their permission. While this has always included facial recognition information, the new Terms make that explicitly clear,” it stated in its new terms. By this, the online video channel said no Youtuber can collect any information that might identify a person without obtaining a permission from such a person whose face might be recognized by the video or content.

Meanwhile, YouTube said although the terms were similarly updated in the United States in November 2020, the new terms of service binding on non US residents became necessary in order “to clarify our terms and provide transparency to our users.” It also assured that “these changes shouldn’t significantly alter your access or use of the YouTube service.”

Youtube also said that each Youtuber, including kids, who continues to use the platform after rollout date of the new terms of service automatically agrees to be bound by the updated service terms. 

“Please make sure you read the updates to the Terms carefully. The new Terms will take effect on June 1, 2021 for users outside the U.S. By continuing to use YouTube after this date, you are agreeing to the new Terms. Please note, if you allow your child to use YouTube Kids, then you are agreeing to the new Terms on behalf of your child as well.”

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