• Working on Upwork while having a government job


Currently, I receive a salary from the government and also have part-time employment on Upwork, from which TDS is deducted, and I have a Form 16 for it. Could you please advise on the likelihood of the central government discovering my work on Upwork if I do not voluntarily disclose it?

An alternative could be using another person's Upwork profile. However, I prefer maintaining my personal profile for authenticity and client trust. I intend to leave my government job in the next 5-6 months. Last year, I declared and paid taxes on my Upwork income. I'm uncertain about continuing this arrangement for a few more months. Should I proceed or refrain?

What are the chances that the employer will come to know that I am working on Upwork and earning from it if I do not disclose.
Asked 20 days ago in Income Tax

- TDS and corresponding income appears only in Form 26AS, AIS and TIS. All such details are available only in taxpayer account.

- For repercussion, refer your employment letter. Usually in most of the cases it amounts to conflict of interest and totally not allowed by the employer. 


For detailed discussion you may opt for phone consultation 

Vivek Kumar Arora
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Tax Obligations: It's important to note that you have a legal obligation to report all your income, including your earnings from part-time employment on Upwork, to the tax authorities. Failing to do so can have legal and financial consequences, including penalties and interest on unpaid taxes.

  1. Chances of Discovery: While it's difficult to predict with certainty whether the central government will discover your Upwork income if you do not voluntarily disclose it, there are mechanisms in place that could lead to the discovery of such income:

    • Tax Withholding (TDS): As you mentioned, TDS is deducted from your Upwork earnings. Tax authorities receive information about TDS deductions, and if you don't report this income on your tax return, it could raise red flags during tax assessments.

    • Data Sharing: Tax authorities may exchange information with other agencies or organizations, and they could potentially cross-reference data to identify individuals who are not reporting their full income.

    • Third-Party Reporting: Some countries require platforms like Upwork to report income earned by their users to tax authorities. This means that the government could have access to information about your earnings.

    • Random Audits: Tax authorities conduct random audits, and individuals can be selected for audit even without specific triggers. If you're audited, any unreported income may come to light.

  2. Using Another Person's Profile: Using someone else's Upwork profile to hide your income is not advisable and may involve legal and ethical issues, including potential violations of Upwork's terms of service. Additionally, it may not guarantee that your income remains hidden, as the tax authorities may still find a way to connect the income to you.

  3. Future Career Implications: Leaving your government job and entering the private sector doesn't necessarily mean you can evade tax obligations. In fact, your financial activities may face even more scrutiny in the private sector, depending on your role and the company's policies.

Ultimately, the most prudent course of action is to comply with tax laws and report all your income accurately.

If you're uncertain about your tax obligations or need advice on how to handle your tax situation, you can opt for phone consultation . I will help you in best possible way and also guide you on how you can reduce your tax liability.

Hope your query is resolved .

Vaibhav RK
CA, Delhi
24 Answers

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The chances of your employer discovering your Upwork work and earnings without your disclosure are relatively low, given that TDS and income details are typically accessible only through your taxpayer account, and your employer may not have direct access to this information. However, it's essential to review your employment terms for any conflicts of interest, and the decision to disclose should be based on your specific situation and associated risks.

Hope you find the information helpful. You are free to contact me for further discussion.If you could spare two minutes of your time to write a review, It would be really grateful and very happy to read it.


Thank you.

Shubham Goyal

Shubham Goyal
CA, Delhi
90 Answers
2 Consultations

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