Tax evasion: Today the IRS disclosed that the revenue authorities of Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States are sharing ‘a substantial amount of data’ obtained on tax cheats from sources that the agency would not fully disclose.

Assets hidden in Singapore, the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands and the Cook Islands were advised as being the targeted locations, and the individuals include not only the tax evaders but their advisors.

The three countries are likely to be invoking the Tax Information Exchange Agreements (TIEAs) that are in effect between the countries. These are typically bilateral agreements based on the OECD model agreement, developed to promote international co-operation in tax matters through exchange of information.

The United States has signed agreements with 91 countries, Australia with 79 countries, and the United Kingdom with 146 countries. New Zealand has 60 agreements in place, including bilateral agreements with the three above-mentioned countries, contained within the income tax treaties between the respective countries.

The IRS advises that the revenue authorities of other countries whose’ citizens who have been found to be hiding assets will be also be notified, to enable those countries to prosecute for tax evasion.