According to a recent Wall Street Journal article, tax authorities are searching the web, social networks and discussion boards to locate tax deadbeats.
Goggle searches and combing social networks, such as My Space, are fertile hunting grounds.
An enterprising Nebraska tax official Goggled a tax scofflaw and discovered the person just landed a high-paying marketing job. The result: Nebraska collected a tax tab of $30,000.
Cruising a discussion board produced the whereabouts of another tax delinquent, when he announced a new business location.
My Space, which by default, creates a public profile, is the tax sleuth’s social network of choice. For instance, a tax-challenged deejay announced on My Space he was working a large party and presto, the tax man swooped in to collect.
In contrast, Face book creates private profiles and many tax agencies refuse to create a false persona to troll there. Other social networks, such as YELP and Linked-in, can instantly supply valuable information to tax collectors.
During tax payment negotiations, collectors read taxpayer web sites to determine whether a cry of poverty is contradicted by claims of success.
Bragging about new customers or expanded product lines may contradict the dire financial picture painted for tax authorities.
Tax collectors are using web searches, bulletin boards and social networks to track down debtors. The lesson: If you post personal or business information on the web, make sure you’ve paid your taxes first!