Thursday, August 27, 2009

Is 'Friending' in Your Future? Better Pay Your Taxes First

Most of you have probably heard the warning about putting things on your MySpace, FaceBook, or Twitter profile that you might not want your employers to see. But have you ever thought about not wanting the IRS to know what you put on your profile? Well, you might want think about it next time you post a blog entry about your personal finances. According to the Wall Street Journal, some state revenue agents have begun gathering information about tax evaders from social networking sites.

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 DJ 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.

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