Mexico, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the United Kingdom Agree to Share Bank Information with the United States

Spurred by the requirements set forth in the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), on February 8th, the governments of France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States agreed to implement a system for government-to-government sharing of bank account information of their citizens and residents. On February 24, it was reported that a similar information sharing system was agreed to between the Mexican Tax Administration Service and the United States Internal Revenue Service (IRS), allowing each to access bank and financial asset information of their citizens.

Generally, FATCA imposes an obligation on banks and other financial institutions to report personal information of any of their accountholders that are United States persons. FATCA’s implementation is scheduled for 2014 and remains the subject of great controversy, however, the agreements between governments referenced above could be implemented much sooner. These inter-government agreements present an imminent threat of exposure for U.S. persons with undisclosed foreign bank accounts.

As previously discussed in our blog from January 12, 2012, earlier this year the IRS announced a third initiative to allow U.S. taxpayers with unreported income relating to undisclosed foreign bank or financial accounts to make a voluntary disclosure to get current with their taxes and information filing obligations. US taxpayers with unreported offshore income (especially in the countries mentioned above) should consult the Royse Law Firm or another tax professional to discuss the new voluntary disclosure initiative in detail.

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Roger Royse

Roger Royse, the founder of the Royse Law Firm, works with companies ranging from newly formed tech startups to publicly traded multinationals in a variety of industries. Roger regularly advises on complex tax structuring, high stakes business negotiations and large international financial transactions. Practicing business and tax law since 1984, Roger’s background includes work with prominent San Francisco Bay area law firms, as well as Milbank, Tweed, Hadley and McCloy in New York City.
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