Reports yesterday of IRS social media audits have shaken the social web, but rest easy — the Federal Bureau of Investigation is not scanning your Facebook feed for hidden assets.
The IRS social media rumors began this week, as the deadline for filing 2012’s income tax forms looms on the 15th.
It’s not exactly clear why people began to believe the federales were poking through your Twitter tweets for proof of taxation fudgery — but we also have to say, somewhat Monday morning quarterbackingly, that the idea seemed to have a low ROI.
(Frankly, Americans are just simply too poor to make such an initiative pay off, at least in the pre-audit stage.)
The IRS was forced to address the social media rumors, and confirmed that the agency is not poring through your social media accounts … unless you come up for an audit, in which case, all bets are off.
In an emailed statement, the IRS social media spying rumors were addressed:
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.
So while the IRS is 99 percent likely not social media auditing you, it is possible — although the agency adds that “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.”