Many people attempt to “sneak one past” the IRS, but anyone who attempts to hide real estate, bank accounts or other assets that he owns is asking for trouble, plain and simply. The IRS has a number of tools and methods that facilitate the uncovering of an individual’s assets, and the risks involved in hiding these assets are just not worth it. This is particularly true in today’s technology-driven world, where information is easier to find than it has ever been before.
Here is a list of some of the tools and resources that the IRS has at their disposal for finding out all of the real estate, property and bank accounts that belong to individuals:
Nationwide Online Asset Locator
IRS employees have access to public records that the general public is not allowed to use. In fact, IRS employees are required to run a public record check on all taxpayers to discover assets. They use an online asset locator research tool, which uncovers real estate transactions, property owned, vehicles, boats, planes owned, and corporate information for business owners. Running a quick search with this tool will uncover many of an individual’s assets, and can also lead to finding cases of tax fraud or tax evasion.
Government Locator Services
The IRS and other government agencies can use locator service programs to find assets owned by a taxpayer. It is not available to the general public, so you cannot log in and obtain information about your neighbors; however, government employees who have the need to uncover information about an individual may tap into this huge database of details.
The Internet as a Research Tool
In addition to government-only tools, the IRS can jump online just like anyone else can to uncover more information about you than you probably expect. IRS employees have made use of Internet research to locate taxpayers and to find out what types of assets they own. It is also important to note that Internal Revenue Service employees are not above finding you on social media sites to track down your assets.
The Internal Revenue Service retains the right to contact credit bureaus to obtain a taxpayer’s information if that individual is suspected of tax fraud or tax evasion.
Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV)
Because the DMV of every state requires owners of automobiles and other motor vehicles to get registered and legally mandates that the driver must have a valid driver’s license, the IRS can often use DMV records to track down taxpayers and their assets.
Real Property Records
When an individual purchases real property, a record of the purchase becomes available online. This type of record is frequently available through the courthouse website and can be accessed without having to go to the town hall in person, making it easy for the IRS to access it from anywhere. There are currently efforts being made to create a central database of real property records, which will enable IRS agents to search all records, nationwide, in one location.
Being a federal agency, the IRS has the power to subpoena information from third-party records. When the IRS has reason to believe that a company has information that they need about a taxpayer, they can get it via a summons enforcement. This may be used for credit records or loan applications so that the IRS can see what the taxpayer purchased or intended to purchase with that loan.
Connection to Businesses
The National Uniform Commercial Code filing records contain information about business-owned assets and about the relationship between an individual and a business. If you purchase property or vehicles, or own assets under a business entity, you can be sure that the IRS can and will make the connection between you and your business to discover any assets that may be hidden under your business name.
The Post Office
If the U.S. Postal Service can find you to deliver mail, then the IRS can find you as well.
Many IRS employees are trained investigators who spend their days tracking down taxpayers and assets.
With all of these methods and resources available to IRS, there is little chance that an individual can purchase or sell an asset without the IRS finding out. Therefore, it is always in your best interest to report all of your property, finances and other assets to the IRS at tax time.