Thursday, August 27, 2009
In today's Wall Street Journal, Is "Friending" in Your Future? Better Pay Your Taxes First, by Laura Saunders:
(Hat Tip: Ann Murphy.)
Tax deadbeats are finding someone actually reads their MySpace and Facebook postings: the taxman.
State revenue agents have begun nabbing scofflaws by mining information posted on social-networking Web sites, from relocation announcements to professional profiles to financial boasts. ...
An IRS spokesman declined to say whether its agents use social-networking sites to pursue delinquent taxes or assist audits.
There are limits to what state agents can do on the Web. In Nebraska, agents are only allowed to use information that is publicly available online. So, MySpace ... tends to work best because its users often post more public information than do those of sites like Facebo. ... The default settings for adults on MySpace create a public profile, while the default settings on Facebook create a profile only viewable by an approved list of friends. "Agents are not allowed to 'friend' someone using false information" ...