social-media-signs

When your client shares information with family and friends on Facebook or Twitter, someone else might be watching: the Canada Revenue Agency.

Read: CRA staff snooping on tax information

To cut down on tax fraud, CRA has been scrutinizing “publicly available information” like social media posts, particularly for Canadian taxpayers identified as high risk, reports CBC. That includes wealthy Canadians with offshore bank accounts.

CRA scrutinizes data related to electronic transfers of $10,000 or more, which results in a significant amount of information in countries where offshore tax evasion is a concern.

The tax agency increasingly uses big data. Business intelligence, which includes “mining accessible data,” is a key area of the CRA’s 2016-2017 planning and priorities report, CBC reports. Data analysis provides the agency with insight into taxpayer behaviours and allows the agency to focus on deliberate non-compliance.

Some people are crying foul when it comes to the CRA’s increased use of data — including Internet freedom advocacy groups like Open Media — because of privacy concerns.

“The CRA does practice risk-based compliance, so for taxpayers identified as high risk, any relevant, publicly available information relating to the specific risk-based factors for the taxpayer may be consulted as part of our fact-gathering processes,” a CRA spokesman told CBC.

Read the full story on CBC’s website.

Also read:

Essential tax numbers

Top tax credits and benefits for seniors

Originally published on Advisor.ca
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