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The IRS opens a criminal investigation into OnlyFans

Illustration by Kate Walker

The IRS opens a criminal investigation into OnlyFans


The Future. The Future. OnlyFans blew up during the pandemic, nabbing over $2.3 billion in 2020. However, this success has also attracted the attention of the federal government. The IRS has now contacted some of the site’s most successful earners in connection with a criminal tax investigation — sparking speculation about the platform and its legitimacy. With Uncle Sam now involved, it’s unclear what the future holds for OnlyFans.

Forbes outlined what the public knows and what they can reasonably expect to see from the investigation as more details emerge.

  • IRS agents delivered Grand Jury subpoenas to high-earning OnlyFans performers and their tax agents, meaning the DOJ is involved. The government is likely interested in performers’ ostentatious displays of wealth.
  • People who operate a business (including OnlyFans performers) can deduct from their tax owed any expenses that aren’t deemed “lavish or extravagant under the circumstances.”
  • Some OnlyFans performers are definitely making purchases that most people would consider lavish, but they may try to argue that those purchases are actually a necessary part of their work. Buying a McLaren gets attention →  attention gets subscribers → subscriptions make money.

Question marks
Whether these subpoenas are for tax documents, court appearances, or both remains to be seen. It’s also unclear why this is a criminal tax investigation instead of a civil one. Regardless, we could be witnessing a scandal in the making.

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