State Tax Offices Using Social Media to Find Late Payers

August 28, 2009

Is the IRS snooping around in your Facebook profile?  Are they lurking behind the scenes and quietly watching your every move on Twitter?  Are they LinkedIn to you?  Or possibly invading your space on MySpace?

The Internal Revenue Service is all hush-hush on the issue and has declined to say whether its agents are using social media to track tax evaders, but State tax agencies have started using it as a valuable tool in finding the money.

Apparently, they are tracking tax evaders via the popular social networking sites to mining information from their post and profiles.

In Minnesota:  Agents garnished the wages of a tax evaders after he posted his newly found employment on MySpace.

From the Wall Street Journal:

In California, which has recently been so strapped for revenue it has had to pay some bills with IOUs, agents are also using social Web sites. When one delinquent was identified as a rigger of sails, a curious collection agent searched his name and the term online and found a discussion board used by local riggers. In one thread someone asked where the rigger was because his store had closed, and a reply was posted, “Oh, he moved across the bay.” The agent found the man and collected a four-figure sum.

Read more examples from the Wall Street Journal.

Also, in the Blogoshere:

Don’t Mess With Taxes:  “Is your new ‘friend’ a tax collector?

Tax Update Blog from Roth & Company:  “IRS IS YOUR ‘FRIEND’?  LOL

Donna Bordeaux, CPA with Calculated Moves

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