New IRS rules target your hard disk drive. The IRS already can get your G-mail or Yahoo Mail data. But that’s not enough.
Are you aware of the following?
In case you missed it, on October 18, the IRS issued what’s called a “Chief Counsel Advice” (CCA) concerning what it calls “original electronic data files.” Basically, the IRS now asserts the right to issue a summons to force a taxpayer to provide this data within whatever statute of limitation applies for the type of examination the agency is undertaking. And that means that you need to be careful not to dispose of any electronic communications or records you maintain that might concern some future tax issue.
This means just about everything.
What electronic records does the IRS want you to maintain? Essentially, it’s “metadata,” which Google helpfully defines as “a set of data that describes and gives information about other data.” But in the context of an IRS examination, or other demand for electronic data, metadata is information on who, when, and how electronic data was created. For instance, the IRS could request e-mail metadata including:
* Recipient(s), including cc and bcc
* Date and time sent
* Date and time received
* Attachment relationship to original email (and metadata fields listed for e-documents)
* Forwarded e-mails; attachment documents and files
Fortunately or unfortunately, every email you send or receive probably has the metadata associated with it automatically included. So does every file you save on your PC. To get a sense of what information email metadata contains, look at the “Internet headers” your messages – sent and received – contain. It’s easy to produce this data if you save your emails or computer files without editing them. Editing the emails or files changes the metadata. But be careful: these changes may be recorded in the metadata!
This is just the beginning. It gets worse.
If this scares the digits out of you, you have got the picture.
Read the entire article.