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Tax Compliance: Offshore Financial Activity Creates Enforcement Issues for IRS

GAO-09-478T Published: Mar 17, 2009. Publicly Released: Mar 17, 2009.
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Much offshore financial activity by individual U.S. taxpayers is not illegal, but numerous schemes have been devised to hide the true ownership of funds held offshore and income moving between the United States and offshore jurisdictions. In recent years, GAO has reported on several aspects of offshore financial activity and the tax compliance and tax administration challenges such activity raises for the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). To assist the Congress in understanding these issues and to support Congress's consideration of possible legislative changes, GAO was asked to summarize its recent work describing individual offshore tax noncompliance, factors that enable offshore noncompliance, and the challenges that U.S. taxpayers' financial activity in offshore jurisdictions pose for IRS. This statement was primarily drawn from previously issued GAO products.

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