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The Tax Prophet Newsletter   Issue # 76 August, 2009

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In This Issue:
Introduction
Searches
My Space
Web sites
Conclusion


Tax Collectors Scour Social Networks to Nab Tax Debtors

Introduction

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.


Searches

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

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.


Web sites

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.


Conclusion

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!



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All contents copyright 2009 Robert L. Sommers, attorney-at-law. All rights reserved. This newsletter provides information of a general nature for educational purposes only and is not intended to be legal or tax advice. This information has not been updated to reflect subsequent changes in the law, if any. Your particular facts and circumstances, and changes in the law, must be considered when applying U.S. tax law. You should always consult with a competent tax professional licensed in your state with respect to your particular situation. The Tax Prophet is a registered trademark of Robert L. Sommers.