New reports suggest that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) may be monitoring your social media accounts to see if you’ve been cheating on your taxes.
Russia Today reports that Kristen Matthews, an attorney at a law firm that specializes in privacy and data security, has cited several unconfirmed reports that the IRS will be checking individual Facebook and Twitter accounts for red flags such as a post about a business trip marked off as a business expense.
Sharing an expensive purchase also might not be a good idea if the government knows you work a low-paying job.
“There are laws that regulate the government’s ability to get a hold of things like credit card transaction history. But those laws have become more permissive in the last several years, particularly after 9-11, and so some might say those laws are no longer in line with the average expectation of privacy,” Mathews told Fox-DC.
The agency has so far denied any plans to use social media as evidence for possible audits.
“Suggestions that the IRS is using social media to target taxpayers for audit are wrong. Audits are based on the information contained on a person’s tax return, not a posting on a social media site,” an IRS spokesperson told Fox Business, according to Digital Trends.
The same spokesperson, however, also added:
“Respecting taxpayer rights forms a central part of all of our enforcement efforts, and that includes instances where we monitor publicly available information to assist with already existing compliance work.”
So it’s not illegal for the IRS to look at your social media account as long as you’ve already been flagged for something else.
We’re typically against using social media posts to get someone in trouble, but if you’re bragging about a vacation or something ridiculously expensive you should not be able to write off, we can’t help but think you deserve whatever happens next.
Maybe this is the government’s way of warning us that it will no longer tolerate unnecessary online bragging, which is arguably more to blame than any political policy for the downfall of modern society.