The U.S. Treasury's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) announced a new program that will require U.S. title insurance companies to identify the people hiding behind shell companies who use those companies to pay cash in expensive real estate transactions. Following Geographic Targeting Orders (GTOs), title insurance companies in the counties of Los Angeles, San Francisco, Santa Clara, San Mateo, and San Diego will provide details of all-cash luxury purchases of residential properties by a legal entity, such as an LLC, to FinCEN for six months beginning August 28, 2016. Earlier this year FinCEN issued similar GTOs in Manhattan and Miami-Dade County. By expanding into California and other parts of New York, Florida, and Texas, FinCEN hopes to continue to identify and thwart the abuse of these transactions for money laundering purposes.
On April 28, 2016, the House Ways and Means Committee voted to pass a trio of bills affecting taxpayer information. One bill requires the IRS to notify victims of identity theft and also imposes new penalties on identity thieves; another bill limits the information certain tax-exempt organizations must reveal regarding their contributors; the third bill allows the IRS to provide taxpayer information to the police to help find missing children. The three bills, respectively, are H.R. 3832; H.R. 5053; and H.R. 3209.
The IRS met its deadline to begin the reciprocal automatic exchange of tax information with some foreign jurisdiction tax administrators as agreed under the intergovernmental agreements (IGAs) as part of the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA). As of September 30, 2015, the IRS can now reciprocate and provide information to the other jurisdictions who have shared information regarding financial accounts held by U.S. taxpayers with the IRS. The information now available provides the United States and partner jurisdictions an improved means of verifying the tax compliance of taxpayers using offshore banking and investment facilities, and improves detection of those who may attempt to evade reporting the existence of offshore accounts and the income attributable to those accounts.