Thursday, January 12, 2012

Tax Evasion Sharpen IRS Focus on International Issues

The Internal Revenue Service is increasing its efforts to tackle international issues involving employee benefit plans as more business is done globally and as tax evasion through the use of offshore accounts grows, speakers said Jan. 11 at a benefits conference.

“Experts estimate that Americans now have $1 trillion—trillion with a ‘t'—in assets offshore and illegally evade $40 [billion] to $70 billion in U.S. taxes each year [through] offshore tax dodges,” said Monika A. Templeman, director of IRS employee plans examinations, Baltimore. “That, in conjunction with all the legitimate business that's happening globally, makes international a very pressing area,” she said.

Other issues that have arisen as the global economy continues to grow include noncompliance and confusion, Templeman said. “There are language issues and all sorts of things that have barriers that we need to overcome to make sure we really have that transparency, and the fast pace of the global economy really requires us to have a fast pace of change servicewide,” she said.

The panelists spoke during the Washington update session at the American Society of Pension Professionals and Actuaries' Los Angeles Benefits Conference.

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