The Internal Revenue Service is researching how to use social media platforms like Facebook to catch tax evaders, Quartz reported.

A request for information from the IRS’s National Office of Procurement on December 18 states a desire for a more effective method of procuring social media information:

“[…] Businesses and individuals increasingly use social media to advertise, promote, and sell products and services. […] Much of this information is unrestricted, allowing the public, businesses and various governmental agencies to discover taxpayers’ locations and income sources.
But the IRS currently has no formal tool to access this public information, compile social media feeds, or search multiple social media sites. […] ” – IRS’s RFI

Current IRS policy forbids employees from using their own social media accounts for work, and are not allowed to create fake accounts for “following,” “friending,” or “liking” a person or business.

This request comes after the IRS budget has been significantly cut by the Republican-controlled Congress. I.R.S. audits dropped 42 percent from 2010 to 2017.

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