Internal Revenue Service Commissioner Mark W. Everson has been elected chairman of the Forum on Tax Administration, a panel of national tax administrators that is part of the Paris-based Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

OECD is a coalition of 30 nations committed to democratic governments and market economies. As chairman of the tax forum, Everson will preside over the group's September meeting in Seoul, South Korea -- a significant portion of which will be devoted to discussions on improving international enforcement.

"Tax administration is being increasingly challenged by globalization, the mobility of capital, the immediacy and fluidity of information and knowledge transfer, and the access individuals and businesses have to sophisticated tax planning and, in some cases, tax avoidance advice and products," said Everson, in a statement. "These developments pose a direct challenge to national tax administrations that act in isolation."

The OECD's Committee on Fiscal Affairs established the Forum on Tax Administration in 2002 and the group held its first meeting in January 2004, and a second meeting in June 2005. The FTA aims to promote dialogue between tax administrations and identify good tax administration practices.

The tax forum is just one of a number of groups formed in the last several years to increase international cooperation and improve treaty relationships.

Earlier this year, the IRS and the tax administrations of nine other countries agreed to the establishment of the Leeds Castle Group. Under the arrangement, the commissioners of the revenue bodies of Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Japan, South Korea, the United Kingdom and the United States agreed to meet regularly to consider issues of global and national tax administration in their respective countries, focusing on mutual compliance challenges. It is the first time China, India and South Korea have been included in such discussions.

Additionally, the IRS and the national tax agencies of the United Kingdom, Canada and Australia established the Joint International Tax Shelter Information Centre, an effort to identify, develop and share information about abusive tax avoidance transactions on a real-time basis.

Previously on WebCPA:

IRS Releases Enforcement Highlights (Nov. 7, 2005)

GAO Offers Improvements for IRS Enforcement Measurement (July 21, 2005)Australia, Canada, U.K. and U.S. Join to Combat Abusive Tax Shelters (May 4, 2004)

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