Earning More Than Your Salary? Moonlighting Employees Get Income Tax Notice Over Extra Income


Sheetal Bhalerao

Sheetal Bhalerao

Aug 10, 2023


The country has recently concluded the tax filing season, and now the income tax department has begun issuing notices to professionals who earned more than their regular salary but did not declare the extra income on their tax returns.

Earning More Than Your Salary? Moonlighting Employees Get Income Tax Notice Over Extra Income

Income Tax Department Sends 1,100 Notices

So far, the 1,100 notices issued pertained to the financial years 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 mostly, as per the media report on August 8. 

According to them, the income from moonlighting, or working outside of full-time employment, was often found higher than the regular salary.

Further, the report highlighted that the tax department was able to detect these undeclared incomes on data scrutiny since most of the payments were made online and some were received from overseas accounts.

Moonlighting Shines Brighter Than Salary Under Tax Scanner

A senior official said, “We have found a large number of instances of IT, accounting and management professionals who were getting payments monthly or quarterly from two or more companies but were declaring income only from their full-time job in their income tax returns,” in the media report.

The report stated that the first phase notices were sent to individuals whose undeclared annual payments averaged between Rs 5 lakh and Rs 10 lakh.

Interestingly, such instances were more frequent, in fiscal years 2019 to 2021, according to officials.

Besides this, several companies informed the department that their employees were engaged in such practices, with proper Permanent Account Numbers (PANs).

When it comes to the financial year 2021-22, the department is yet to analyze data and expects that the number of notices will rise. 

“People are not getting tax notices for moonlighting, but for incorrectly declaring their income, when in some cases it is double of what they were getting from their salary,” said the senior official .

Apart from this, the cash payments are also being investigated, officials said.

It appears that moonlighting became popular in the IT sector, during the pandemic especially for people working from home.


Sheetal Bhalerao
Sheetal Bhalerao
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