Social media scrutiny by tax inspectors

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TAX dodgers and fraudsters in Spain had better be careful what they Tweet or post on Facebook as tax inspectors are taking to social media sites to help in their crackdown on suspected tax avoiders.

Inspectors are to search the internet with special software in order to pinpoint suspected dodgers, including data about their professional contacts and family ties that may lead to information on any undeclared business activities.

“It is extremely important to be intensive in our use of new technology and to be able to use support from computer auditing experts during our controls, in order to access the internal workings and the information contained within computers and which is not shared with the Tax Agency,” said Santiago Menendez of the Spanish Tax Agency.

The Spanish agency already has staff who regularly analyse websites and blogs in search of clues, and some even search through celebrity magazines for signs of undeclared wealth in photos.

Last year, MotoGP star Jorge Lorenzo was targeted after he featured in a magazine detailing his luxurious home. Sources say that sports star has now put his affairs in order with the treasury. According to El Pais, 99,590 inspections were carried out in Spain last year.

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