Wednesday, March 04, 2009

IRS Eyes Wider Net To Catch US Tax Cheats

The IRS is considering getting involved with other governments in order to catch US tax evaders. You can find a snippet of a Reuters article discussing the topic below, or the full text can be read here.

The U.S. Internal Revenue Service may team up with other governments to crack down on tax cheats as it faces pressure to toughen rules on Americans who try to conceal income at offshore tax havens, a senior IRS lawyer told Reuters on Tuesday.

"We are concerned about U.S. people hiding their assets and not reporting their correct worldwide income," Steven Musher, IRS associate chief counsel for international issues said in an interview on the sidelines of a banking conference.

At the same time, Musher said the IRS does not want changes to be burdensome for banks and financial institutions. "We are trying to achieve the balance between increasing the reliability and quality of documentation to serve these various competing purposes," he said.

Musher declined to discuss the agency's lawsuit seeking to obtain the names of thousands of American clients with accounts at Swiss bank UBS AG (UBSN.VX)(UBS.N).

The IRS is preparing a proposal to change rules for its so-called Qualified Intermediary Program, which helps the government keep track of U.S. funds invested in foreign banks.

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