US authorities can access your financial information

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US authorities can access your financial information

Postby Tim » Tue 18 Apr 2006 09:46

The US Inland Revenue Service has been given federal court permission to ask PayPal to turn over information about people who have bank accounts, credit cards or debit cards issued in Malta and other countries considered to be tax havens (including Switzerland, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man). This is because they've finally figured out that people can use PayPal to spend money 'hidden' in those accounts on goods and sevices bought in America and thus avoid paying tax. Presumably they are aiming at people who are resident in the USA but have opened accounts in Malta (they might even have permanent resident status here) and not really looking for Americans or others who are actually living in Malta.

Nevertheless, once the order to divulge info has been given to PayPal, the IRS isn't going to let it go! So in theory, anybody with accounts here or in the other offshore locations included in the same ruling (there are 35 of them), might be liable to having their details divulged if the IRS is interested in them.

PayPal apparently said that it takes its customers' information very seriously. Umm yes, but given its customer relations record, you might not get any redress or even any reply when it takes your serious information to the IRS!

Most of this is my interpretation. You can read the article here.
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