It is often said that we shouldn’t believe everything we see on social media because it is usually staged and posed to sometimes make ourselves look better than reality. However it could soon be used by government officials in India to determine if someone might be living beyond their means, and whether or not it could be that it is because they are evading taxes.

Starting from next month, social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram will become sources of data for government officials to try and ascertain if residents are evading taxes, which can sometimes be uncovered by how they live their lives. For example someone who declares $2,000 a month in salary but yet somehow manages to fly first-class and sport luxury branded goods does seem suspicious.

Of course this isn’t exactly a science, and if they are gifts from rich friends or relatives, we’re sure that it can all be proven and settled, but for those who live beyond their declared means, it will be something they’ll have to keep an eye out for. Amit Maheshwari, managing partner at accountancy firm Ashok Maheshwary and Associates near New Delhi also suggests that this could end harassment from tax officials.

Maheshwary was quoted as saying, “Data analytics is the way forward for tax administrations across the world. This will also put an end to harassment by tax officials as there will be no public interface. Perceived randomness in scrutiny will come to an end.”

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