Probing PayPal's Patrons

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As Tax Day comes closer, so do the snoops:

A federal court has granted the Internal Revenue Service permission to search PayPal members' offshore bank accounts and credit card records to identify possible tax evaders.

Under the order, issued by a U.S. District Court judge in San Jose, Calif., the IRS can view those records under certain conditions, the Justice Department announced this week. The IRS is seeking the access as part of its larger Offshore Credit Card Program, which aims to crack down on U.S. taxpayers who hold money offshore to avoid paying taxes….

PayPal, which received the summons roughly two weeks ago, is reviewing whether to provide the information, appeal the court order, or take some other action

Radley Balko described PayPal's past interactions with the authorities in a Reason piece published last summer.

NEXT: What, Did Four Die in Ohio or Something?

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  1. What constitution?

    Right to privacy what? Who said that? Why would you think there is a right to privacy?

  2. PayPal has no obligation to protect its customer’s privacy. But that don’t make them any less asshats for being the rat bastards that they are.

  3. Right to privacy what? Who said that? Why would you think there is a right to privacy?

    Although I am very alarmed at the way privacy is eroding in this country, its hard for me to get too upset that the gov’t wants to probe the finances of people who are off-shoring their money to not pay their share of income tax. You may not agree with the taxation or the levels or whatever, but the law is the law, and they should be able to go after people who are evading taxes.

    Based on the conditions:
    One is that a “reasonable basis” exists for believing a person may have failed to comply with IRS laws. A second requirement is the investigation relates to a particular person. Furthermore, the information being sought must not be easily obtained through other sources.

    It doesn’t seem that unreasonable, nor does it seem to allow for fishing expiditions. Of course one would have to know what constitutes a reasonable basis and who decides what is reasonable.

    The most alarming part of the story was this final paragraph:
    Over the past several years, the IRS has been turning to the Internet to crack down on tax evaders. In 2002, the IRS sought ways to track potential tax evaders by reviewing keywords in their search results.

    Reviewing keywords in their search results? That seems like much bigger invasion of privacy.

  4. To turn this country around we need two things to happen. One, Terrorists fly 3 planes into the IRS headquarters in D.C. (BBQ at my place) Two, we cut the government’s size in half or more.

  5. Two, we cut the government’s size in half or more.

    How about in half or less?

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