The Income Tax department initiated a probe against certain content creators on platforms like Instagram and YouTube for inconsistencies in reporting their profits and income, as per official sources from a PTI report.

This probe was conducted after the department carried out searches on 10 top young YouTubers and other social media influencers, including famous actress Pearle Maaney. This search was based in Kerala and revealed that these creators were allegedly earning significant income, and purchasing expensive land and luxury items, but under-reporting or failing to disclose them in their tax returns. This has been largely attributed to lack of awareness about tax laws.

The investigation was carried out by 10 teams led by the Kochi Intelligence Division, which registered cases in Alappuzha, Thrissur, Ernakulam, Pathanamthitta, Kasaragod, and Palakkad districts. Similar action has been initiated against social media influencers in other parks of the country, including certain celebrities.

As per some sources, some crucial information obtained about these influencers, including their brand endorsements, paid and unpaid promotions, contractual agreements with social media platforms, and expenditure occurred using financial instruments. 

This unexpected investigation emphasizes the increasing scrutiny of social media users and influencers, likely due to the rapid growth of the industry over the past few years. It is expected to grow even more across the decade, and the tax department wishes to ensure adherence to tax regulations from the beginning.