Washington (March 19, 2004) -- Commissioners of the tax administrations of Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States have begun discussions to form a joint task force to increase collaboration and coordinate information about abusive tax transactions.

"This is an unprecedented step in the battle against the plague of abusive tax transactions," said Internal Revenue Service Commissioner Mark W. Everson.

Since many abusive transactions employ strategies that cross borders, and many promoters of these transactions operate globally without regard to national boundaries, the joint task force would enable the four countries to share expertise, best practices and experiences in the field of tax administration, according to the IRS.

Additionally, the joint effort would allow the exchange of information about specific abusive transactions and their promoters and investors within the framework of the countries' existing bilateral tax treaties, and enable them to carry out their individual abusive tax transaction enforcement activities more effectively.  The commissioners of the four tax administrations have agreed to meet in Washington in the next month to finalize a plan to launch the task force initiative.

-- WebCPA staff

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