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Worldwide Tax Daily Quotes Mark Matthews: IRS Investigators to Focus on Cybercrime, Virtual Currency

July 9, 2014, Worldwide Tax Daily

Worldwide Tax Daily quoted Mark E. Matthews concerning the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) and the focus on cybercrime and virtual currency by the IRS Criminal Investigation (CI) division. For the complete article, please visit Worldwide Tax Daily's website (subscription required).

Excerpt taken from the article "IRS Investigations to Focus on Cybercrime, Virtual Currency" by Jaime Arora for Worldwide Tax Daily.

Mark E. Matthews of Caplin & Drysdale asked whether CI will have direct access to information that is reported to the IRS as a result of the implementation of the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act or whether the division will work off referrals from the Large Business and International Division. It is difficult to see how the IRS will manage all of that information, Matthews said.

Fort declined to answer how CI will access the information collected under FATCA. The main goal of international initiatives like FATCA is to encourage people to come back into compliance, he said.

Noting that foreign financial institutions will collect and transmit a lot of sensitive data under FATCA, Matthews asked whether that might lead to more identity theft.

Patricia Haynes, who recently retired from her position as CI's deputy chief, said that much theft of personal information occurs from places like nursing homes and schools, which don't realize the importance of securing the information. IRS officials previously said the agency is engaging in bilateral examinations with foreign governments to ensure the security of taxpayer information exchanged under FATCA.

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