The Internal Revenue Service announced that the commissioners of the Australian, Canadian, U.K., and U.S. tax administrations will open a second office of the Joint International Tax Shelter Information Center in London this fall.The commissioners have said that exchanging information in real-time is making a significant difference to the complex task of tracking tax avoidance and abusive cross-border transactions. In recent months, center members have identified and challenged the following fraudulent arrangements:

• A cross-border scheme that was marketed to hundreds of taxpayers, leading to tens of millions of dollars in improper deductions and unreported income from retirement account withdrawals;
• A highly-structured financing transaction created by financial institutions in which taxpayers generated inappropriate foreign tax credit benefits; and,
• Brokers who provided made-to-order losses on futures and options transactions for individuals in other center jurisdictions, leading to tax losses of more than $100 million.

The group also announced that Japan has accepted an invitation to join center, and that a representative of the country’s National Tax Agency will be based in London.Separately, the Internal Revenue Service’s Advisory Committee on Tax Exempt and Government Entities announced that it will hold a public meeting on June 13 in Washington. At that meeting, six ACT project teams will present recommendations to the IRS Commissioner and senior leadership of the IRS’s Tax Exempt and Government Entities Division. Those projects include:

The IRS has also named six new members who will begin their two-year terms on the ACT in June, including:

• Michael M. Spickard, of Summit Retirement Plan Services Inc. in Akron, Ohio;
• Marcia S. Wagner, of the Wagner Law Group in Boston;
• Fred T. Goldberg Jr., of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP in Washington;
• Mary Rauschenberg, of Deloitte Tax LLP in Chicago;
• Dennis Puzz Jr., Best & Flanagan LLC in Minneapolis; and,
• John G. Pasicznyk, of the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York in Albany, N.Y.

More information about ACT’s membership, and on the projects being presented to IRS leadership, is available at www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/0,,id=170738,00.html.

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