Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Irish Tax office catches up with web 2.0...

I had the great pleasure this morning of being subject to a tax audit.
It was announced by a letter that I received a few weeks ago so it wasn't a surprise.
What was a surprise was the fact that the person conducting the audit had printouts of all my online networking profiles. That's Linkedin, Xing, Facebook etc.
I ended up being questioned on the content of these profiles. Not that I have anything to hide but some content was out of date leading to some digging (no not on www.digg.com)by the tax people.
This really annoyed me and I clearly pointed out that these profiles held no legal validity and if they had no right to use them as part of an audit.
It adds another chapter though in the number of privacy issues for people using online networking sites. Not only can friends, foes and potential employers view and use your profile information and activities, now the tax office will use this information also....
Scary really....

11 comments:

colliebee said...

I would be interested to find out more about this. Im a journalist with a national paper and this could be worth a story.

e-mail: carrickrfc@yahoo.com

thank you

Evert said...

Hi there, just tried to send you an email but it bounced. It might be best if you email me at spongebopp@gmail.com...

Graham said...

That is scary stuff indeed. A pity that few people connect taxation (in particular income taxation) with the violations of privacy and other fundamental rights which it necessitates.

UnaRocks said...

Hey - could you drop me a mail about this? umullally@tribune.ie

Cheers,

Una

Evert said...

@Graham I would not call this scary at all. Surprising yes, but scary no.
What I find scary is the amount of people that will just put anything on a networking site/blog/website without even considering that this can then be viewed by everybody and their uncle. If you have something to hide (I don't) then do not put it in a public domain, period!
It's the revenue office's full right to view this information.

E.

Graham said...

@evert, you called it scary in your own post! I'm not disagreeing with you, though :-)

Patrick James said...

Spooky stuff... I wonder how many privacy laws this sort of behaviour encroaches on. I have always had a niggling feeling that government bodies are not exactly comfortable with bloggers, no matter what they say. Even though it is a fundamental of an evolved society I don't think the political body is at ease with freedom of speech forums... If only they could place a taxation on it! Maybe it wouldn't be so free!

Sjoerd said...

Its spooky but reality check this website: http://www.findallabout.co.uk/index

there is a lot of stuff on the net!

Interested Observer said...

a) The Revenue Commissioners are entitled to use whatever information in the public domain that they see fit in the course of their work.

b) You are the person who put the information in the public domain.

c) There is no right to privacy in Ireland.

Evert said...

@ "internet observer": You are absolutely right on all three points. That's why I put this post up in the first place. Internet users still seem to think that information posted on d'interweb is only seen by a select few...

PaulR said...

Evert, I work in a local radio station in the South East and we're doing an item on a story in the Indo last week "When social networking goes bad" and would love to have you come on to recount your experience. Are you available this week? Please email heather@southeastradio.ie to let us know. Cheers, PaulR