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Is your new 'friend' a tax collector?

Be careful about the financial information you share via social media sites. State tax offices are paying attention.

In today's Wall Street Journal, Laura Saunders reports that state revenue agents are nabbing scofflaws by mining information posted on social-networking Web sites.

Relocation announcements, professional profiles and, not surprisingly, boasts of financial success are catching collectors eyes, and adding to state treasuries.

Tax officials in Minnesota, California and Nebraska were cited in the story as having success locating tax deadbeats who shared a little too much online.

MySpace seems to be, for now, the primary source of finding out about individuals who might owe taxes. However, I'm sure Facebook, Twitter and all the other similar sites are getting a good once over just in case.

What about Uncle Sam? The IRS isn't saying whether it's using the social tax tracking technique. But you can be sure that light bulbs are going off above heads in offices at 1111 Constitution Avenue in northwest D.C.

And all across Web 2.0, I suspect folks are taking closer looks at their friends and followers lists.

In addition to the WSJ story, you can read other blogger thoughts on this new tax enforcement trend at TaxProf, Michael VanPutten and Mashable.

Hat tip to Claes Bell, Bankrate.com


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