US State Revenue Agents Like Social Media

New Opportunities To Find Unpaid Taxes

1 min read
US State Revenue Agents Like Social Media

The Wall Street Journal had a story today about how state tax/revenue agents are mining social media sites like FaceBook and MySpace looking for tax cheats.

The story says that revenue agents in Minnesota, Nebraska and California have been able to collect thousands of dollars in owed taxes by checking what people post on social media sites and then checking that against what they say on their tax forms. For instance, agents in Nebraska collected unpaid taxes from a deejay when they found out via his MySpace page that he advertised working a big public party but hadn't paid the required taxes on that income as he should have.

I know from personal experience that county tax agents in Virginia regularly review what is posted on company web pages against company tax forms.

Tax agents can only use publicly posted information, and cannot "friend" someone to get information, the WSJ says.

The WSJ story also says that the US Internal Revenue Service declined to comment on whether it used social media to pursue delinquent taxes or to conduct audits.

Given the tough economic times and the US government's voracious need for cash, I'd be highly surprised if they didn't.

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Why Functional Programming Should Be the Future of Software Development

It’s hard to learn, but your code will produce fewer nasty surprises

11 min read
A plate of spaghetti made from code
Shira Inbar

You’d expectthe longest and most costly phase in the lifecycle of a software product to be the initial development of the system, when all those great features are first imagined and then created. In fact, the hardest part comes later, during the maintenance phase. That’s when programmers pay the price for the shortcuts they took during development.

So why did they take shortcuts? Maybe they didn’t realize that they were cutting any corners. Only when their code was deployed and exercised by a lot of users did its hidden flaws come to light. And maybe the developers were rushed. Time-to-market pressures would almost guarantee that their software will contain more bugs than it would otherwise.

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