Social media used in tax clampdown

social media tax

27th October 2017

Social media has become a huge part of our lives both professionally and personally. And if the latest reports are true, authorities will soon be using our online profiles to identify fraudulent activity in a move that wouldn’t seem out of place in ‘Minority Report’.

Social media profiles could give away tax fraud

Tax authorities in India have allegedly been working on a scheme called Project Insight over the last seven years which will use data captured on and offline, including social media posts, to assess whether or not an individual is paying the right taxes.

In a move to get more residents to pay up, the government will allegedly be rolling out new systems where individual spending profiles will be created which matches people’s spending habits with tax declarations. The aim is to eventually introduce advanced systems that can predict and flag future risks.

Big data fuelling change

This move by Indian authorities is part of ongoing work to recover taxes in the country which currently has a tax-to-GDP ratio of just 17%. However, it’s not the first place to make the most of the growth in big data to sniff out wrong doers.

Belgium, Canada and Australia have also reportedly been using tactics such as internet scraping and web mining as a means of collecting and analysing as much data as possible in order to identify fraudulent activity that might usually go undetected.

Authorities could be spying on you

Clearly authorities are using more sophisticated tools in the clampdown on tax evasion across the globe. Any wrong doers can certainly expect authorities armed with these new tools to catch up with them soon. And as recruitment firms increasingly use social media channels in their day-to-day operations, the chances are tax authorities could already be monitoring their online activity, so why take the risk?

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