Taxmen train eyes on 'Instagram Rich List'

The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) will look into the tax compliance of Filipino celebrities that were among the highest-earning personalities on Instagram.

Finance Secretary Benjamin E. Diokno said the tax authorities have eyes set on the so-called Instagram Rich List 2022 compiled by credit-score website NetCredit.

“Yes, of course,” Diokno said on Monday, Oct. 24, when asked if the government will check the tax compliance of Filipino celebrities that made the most money off of Instagram, based on the NetCredit’s report.

In the Philippines, NetCredit ranked Miss Universe 2015 winner Pia Wurtzbach as the highest earner on Instagram, making a reported $3.67 million (P216 million), followed by Kathryn Bernardo with $3.53 million (P208 million).

Anne Curtis, meanwhile, had estimated earnings of over $2.3 million (P172 million) on her Insta posts alone, while Kim Chiu made $1.71 million (P100 million) and Andrea Brilliantes with $1.28 million (P75 million).

From sixth to the 10th spot, there were Catriona Gray at $1.19 million (P70 million), Liza Soberano at $968,118 (P57 million), Nadine Lustre at $354,294 (P20.8 million), Alex Gonzaga at $349,580 (P20.5 million), and Marian Rivera at $75,709 (P4.4 million).

In building the list, NetCredit gathered data on the most-followed Instagram personalities per country, and then identified which of their posts were sponsored or advertisements.

After gathering the information, the website then compared the figures with known estimates provided by HopperHQ’s “Instagram Rich List” and “Random Forest” on how much celebrities charge for sponsored Instagram posts.

In August, BIR Commissioner Lilia Catris Guillermo said the tax bureau will run after social media influencers that are earning huge money and “big-time” online sellers.

Guillermo said the BIR planned to tap data analytics to process big data from social media website.