The Internal Revenue Service initially will make limited use of information supplied by other governments about U.S. citizens’ offshore holdings because of budget constraints, Commissioner John Koskinen said.
Major pieces of the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, or Fatca, take effect July 1 as the U.S. seeks to clamp down on tax evasion by its citizens with money outside the country. The law has led to agreements with governments around the world to exchange information.
“One of our biggest challenges lies with having the resources to build and maintain systems that can effectively use all the incoming data,” Koskinen said today at the Tax Executives Institute conference in Washington, according to prepared remarks. “As with any major new initiative, we expect a learning curve, for the IRS and for everyone affected.”
Koskinen, 74, said he was conscious of the potential difficulties that foreign banks are having in developing systems to comply with Fatca.
“We will be understanding of those problems as long as those intermediaries are making reasonable, good faith efforts to comply,” he said.
Koskinen said the agency’s budget request of $12.5 billion for fiscal year 2015, a $1.2 billion increase, is a “critical step forward” in improving taxpayer service.
He also said the IRS has supplied Congress with all the documents it had requested to investigate the agency’s scrutiny of Tea Party groups. Koskinen will testify on March 26 about the investigations at the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.
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