I have a client who is active on social media. She has approx 6,000 followers which classes her as a micro influencer. She takes pictures and does reviews of board and card games.
This started with her own collection but she now receives some products for free from other companies, some she contacts and asks if they want to send her the game in exchange for a photo/review and some contact her offering the same.
The companies have no editorial control over the review
She does not charge for making the social media posts but the items she is sent to photograph do have a value as most are available to buy
Not all offers of products are accepted
She also makes her own games (via a limited company) and uses her page to advertise those.
The social media was not set up with a view to making a profit and only a small number of posts are adverts/reviews
The value of the goods received are not huge (maybe £1,000 over a year) and would be covered by the trading allowance so there has not yet been any loss of tax
My question is should the products she receives for free be treated as income?
I also have a food photographer client who is paid for his work and also eats the food after the photos have been taken. In this case the payment is treated as income but the value of the food is not.
My feeling is that the client is not trading and that freebies do not count as income but I would be interested in your views on this