Tax agents in states including Minnesota, California and Nebraska are using social networking sites like MySpace and search engines like Google to track down tax evaders.
The Wall Street Journal ran an interesting article on the growing use of social nets by tax agencies and law enforcement authorities to find people who have moved across state lines to avoid their tax debts. In a way the tax evaders were unknowingly leaving electronic breadcrumbs behind them, allowing the tax enforcement personnel to eventually catch up with them.
Not all states are using social networks or Googling to find tax scofflaws yet and some tax agencies actually block employees from accessing social networking sites. But as most states are starved for tax revenue this year, doing a little digital detective work from ones keyboard must be an appealing alternative to raising taxes or cutting spending.