Income tax department is not just looking at your financials and the income tax return (ITR) you have filed. In fact, they look at your social media posts as well. In fact, your social media posts can also be a drop of hint in regard to tax evasion for the income tax department.
According to information on the CA Club of India’s official website, the income tax department has sent notices to 15 social media influencers who posted about their luxury vacations and shopping trips while paying no income tax or very little income tax. The income tax department sent notices to these 15 social media influencers and requested clarification from them regarding their sources of income tax and justifications for not paying income tax.
The income tax department is reportedly using data analytics to scan social media influencers account to find out any mismatch in their social status and the ITR filed. They using data analytics to find whether social media iinfluencers are under reporting their income or not. The income tax notices slapped to 15 social media influencers ranges from various fraternities like Bollywood, fashion, lifestyle, travel, etc. In its notice, the income tax department has asked from the influencers to share their details of income from sponsored content, brand endorsement, etc. The income tax department has also sought details from these 15 taxpayers to provide details of money spent on travel, cloths and apparels, accommodations, etc.
This action by the income tax department against media influencers is intended to increase income tax compliance among high earners who hide their ITR while evading taxes.
Here are a few recent tax regulations that affect social media influencers. If a media influencer wants to avoid receiving income tax notices in the future, they must continue to be aware of the new taxes that are applicable to them:
1] The income tax rule applies on all social media influencers who earn more than Rs 2 lakh in single financial year;
2] The income tax rate is fixed 30 per cent on the gross income of social media influencers;
3] The social media influencers can claim tax deduction on their expenses like equipment purchase, travel, etc.; and
4] The new income tax applied on social media influencers have become effective from April 1, 2023.