RADIO INTERVIEW REPORT: IRS USING GOOGLE MAPS TO SPY ON TAXPAYERS
REPORT: IRS USING GOOGLE MAPS TO SPY ON TAXPAYERS
Agents from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) are using Google Maps as part of their tool kit to audit taxpayers and organizations, The Daily Caller has learned. A redacted IRS letter dated Sept. 8, 2011 reveals that at least in one case the IRS’s examiners used photos of a property, obtained through Google Maps, as evidence to revoke the 501(c)(4) status of a homeowner’s association.
“The road consists of a two-mile loop around the inside of the property. It goes not have any sidewalks or bicycle lanes. The examining agent printed and copied a map from Google Maps into this report,” states the letter. 501(c)4 is a tax-exempt status that includes certain “social welfare organizations,” “local associations of employees,” “homeowners associations,” “volunteer fire companies,” and certain lobbying organizations.
The agency did not return The Daily Caller’s request for comment for this report. In early 2013, accounting firm Group 11 Advisors noted in a company blog post that while it was unclear as of then whether the IRS was using Google Maps and Google Street View to monitor people, it was engaging in electronic surveillance of “high-net-worth individuals[.]” Such surveillance methods include the monitoring of Facebook posts, eBay listings and electronic credit card records.
“The added investigative capabilities made possible by technology makes it that much more important to ensure all necessary documents regarding assets are completed and filed according to IRS rules,” wrote Group 11 advisors.
What kind of information could the IRS gain from using Google maps? How could it use that information in audits?
PLEASE EFFORT THIS GUEST
Joe Mastriano – CPA — IRS Audit expert