The Internal Revenue Service said it is beginning enforcement actions against more than 100 U.S. taxpayers who have been sheltering their funds from taxes by depositing them in secret bank accounts in the tax haven of Liechtenstein.

The U.S., along with the national tax administrations of Australia, Canada, France, Italy, New Zealand, Sweden and the United Kingdom are working together as member countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development's Forum on Tax Administration following recent revelations that Liechtenstein bank accounts were being used for tax avoidance (see Germany to Share Tax Evasion Information).

"Combating off-shore tax avoidance and evasion are high priorities for the IRS," said IRS Acting Commissioner Linda Stiff in a statement.

The U.S. maintains a network of bilateral tax treaties and tax information exchange agreements with a wide range of other countries. Tax commissioners from more than 30 countries gathered in September 2006 in Seoul, South Korea, to discuss the use of tax haven bank accounts. More recently, at a meeting this year in Cape Town, South Africa, they agreed to further study the role of banks in tax compliance.

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