Can the IRS use social media to support allegations of tax fraud?

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) uses many tools in its fight against tax fraud, including information available on social media platforms.

How does the IRS use information available on social media? The agency can use information posted on the public domain as evidence to support allegations of tax crimes

A case out of Florida provides an example. In that case, a Florida woman posted about her tax evasion techniques on Facebook. She stated she was a “millionaire” and the “queen of IRS tax fraud.” She ended her post with the declaration that she would never do any time for her crime. She was wrong. The government used the post to support tax fraud charges. She is currently serving a 21-year prison sentence for her crimes.

Not only can the agency use this information to support allegations of tax fraud, it has also used the information placed on social media to determine which taxpayers to audit in the first place. This is done using data mining, using information placed in the public domain to run data analytics and determine which taxpayers are living a lifestyle that is above the one reflected in their tax returns. If the numbers do not add up, the IRS is likely to conduct a tax audit.

This is just one way the IRS uses technology to gather evidence to accuse taxpayers of tax crimes. As noted in a previous post, available here, the agency also uses blockchain technology to increase the efficiency of its data analytics process.

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