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(Reuters): The US Treasury Department on Wednesday enlisted five EU nations to help crack down on offshore tax evasion by Americans and ease the burdens the effort has imposed on many banks and financial institutions. After complaints from the global financial industry about costs and legal issues, Treasury announced a new multilateral approach to implementing the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA). Under Treasury's proposed "new government-to-government framework for implementing FATCA," the governments of France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom will work together to create a means to collect the information from their banks and send it to the United States. Noticeably absent from the new framework were major international banking nations such as Canada, Switzerland and the Netherlands, not to mention tax haven jurisdictions such as Ireland, the Cayman Islands and Bermuda.
Treasury said that once the five "FATCA partner" countries finalized the framework, banks in those countries would not have to enter into separate data disclosure agreements with the IRS.
In addition, in a reciprocating agreement, Treasury said the United States would collect and share information with the five participating EU countries about accounts held by their citizens in U.S. financial institutions.
For nations not invited to become "FATCA partners" with the United States, banks and financial institutions in those countries must still cooperate on their own with the IRS.
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