Local and state tax collectors have added a new tool to their arsenal to locate tax cheats. The agencies have gone to Facebook and MySpace looking for those who have failed in paying their share of taxes. According to one report the tax collecting agencies are finding it a great tool in locating those who post their profiles and share their location, new job status and how much they are making.
According to one article it states that:
In Minnesota, authorities were able to levy back taxes on the wages of a long-sought tax evader after he announced on MySpace that he would be returning to his home town to work as a real-estate broker and gave his employer’s name. The state collected several thousand dollars, the full amount due.
Meanwhile, agents in Nebraska collected $2,000 from a deejay after he advertised on his MySpace page that he would be working at a big public party.
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.
What is interesting is that the Feds, who declined to comment, may also be using the social networking sites to locate tax evaders.