The tax administrations of the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia have teamed up to detect and prosecute those hiding income in offshore accounts, the Internal Revenue Service recently announced.
The IRS noted that it found "a substantial amount of data" on offshore accounts held in the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, the Cook Islands, and Singapore, and the three counties are teaming up to investigate those committing tax law violations through these accounts. The countries noted that the information gathered reveals the identities of the individual owners of these entities, as well as the advisors who assisted in establishing the entity structure.
"This is part of a wider effort by the IRS and other tax administrations to pursue international tax evasion," said IRS Acting Commissioner Steven Miller. "Our cooperative work with the United Kingdom and Australia reflects a bigger goal of leaving no safe haven for people trying to illegally evade taxes."
The IRS also noted that the three-country coordination may also help other countries who request the offshore tax data seek out their own citizens who may evading the law. In an interview with Bloomberg, Michael Danilack, an IRS deputy commissioner for international issues, said Canada has already requested information.
Several reports have come to light as of late that hints at or blatantly reveals the identities of those in the U.S. and abroad who may have skirted their tax responsibilities through the use of offshore accounts.
The New York Times recently reported the contents of a leaked document obtained by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, which revealed the names of thousands of Americans, Europeans, and foreigners who hold offshore accounts. The report details the specific account details of these offshore havens, which may give the IRS more ammunition to launch investigations against potential tax evaders.