Home Gotcha! Tax Evaders Nabbed on Facebook

Gotcha! Tax Evaders Nabbed on Facebook

Despite the fact that he is perhaps one of the world’s most famous gangsters, Al Capone wasn’t first imprisoned for bootlegging, racketeering or the gangland execution of the Saint Valentine’s Day Massacre. Instead, Capone was first imprisoned for tax evasion. Whether you’re a law abiding citizen or a tax dodging criminal, there’s something eerily omniscient about the taxman. According to a recent Wall Street Journal article by Laura Saunders, our all-seeing state revenue agents have increased their power to catch tax evaders through Facebook, MySpace and Google.

Said Jim Eads, director of the Federation of Tax Administrators, “These new supplements are often far more efficient than the older ones, such as reading the local newspaper or making inquiries at barbershops and church meetings.”

Agents are not permitted to friend suspected tax evaders using false information; however, public information is perfectly acceptable. In the past, collections agents were aggressive enough to appear at residences, places of work and schools. If you thought old school debt collectors were tough, think of today’s social media wielding bunch as the Terminator 2 version.

While they’re unlikely to kill your next-of-kin after questioning them, they can garnish your family’s wages and slowly lure you out of hiding. If the group has just caught on to Facebook and MySpace, imagine the power they’ll wield once they start using facial recognition software and people search engines like Spock and Pipl. You’ve been warned. Pay your taxes on time and avoid an audit.

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