Kochi: On Thursday, the Income Tax Department carried out inspections at the residences and offices of YouTubers in Kerala following revelations that many video content creators were not paying taxes in proportion to their income.
According to reports, officials conducted inspections at the properties of 10 YouTubers. Prior to the raid, the department had compiled a list of 30 YouTubers and closely monitored their activities and income generated through the platform and service providers. Eventually, the focus was narrowed down to 10 content creators. The Income Tax Department estimates that several prominent YouTubers in Kerala earn an annual income exceeding Rs 2 crore but have not been paying taxes commensurate with their revenue.
During the inspections conducted on Thursday, the Income Tax Department’s investigation team searched the residences and offices of over 10 YouTubers suspected of tax evasion. The officials had identified these individuals based on their activities and income. It was discovered that some YouTubers had made significant investments in expensive real estate and luxury properties. The tax authorities were also aware of their foreign trips and the purchase of expensive gifts for promotional purposes.
It is estimated that there are YouTubers in Kerala earning between Rs 1 crore and Rs 2 crore annually. The authorities consider this initial phase of inspections to be part of an ongoing investigation into tax evasion by YouTubers.
The Income Tax Department’s Kozhikode unit filed cases and conducted searches in various districts of Kerala, including Alappuzha, Pathanamthitta, Thrissur, Kasaragod, Ernakulam, and Palakkad. The inspections began at 8 am and continued throughout the day. A total of 10 teams, led by the Kochi Intelligence Division of the Income Tax Department, were involved in the investigation.