There is a Multilateral Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters, sponsored by the OECD to which many of the developed nations, including the U.S., are parties. The following is a "cut and paste" of a general description from the OECD web site:
The amended Convention facilitates international co-operation for a better operation of national tax laws, while respecting the fundamental rights of taxpayers. The amended Convention provides for all possible forms of administrative co-operation between states in the assessment and collection of taxes, in particular with a view to combating tax avoidance and evasion. This co-operation ranges from exchange of information, including automatic exchanges, to the recovery of foreign tax claims.
See OECD website titled Exchange of information: Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters, here:
For a linked brochure explaining the treaty, see here:
For an information brief, see here:
Finally, Reuters just recently reported that the Group of 20 is encouraging developing countries to join the convention wto which over 50 countries have already signed up. See G20 pledges to help developing countries tackle tax dodging (Reuters 9/6/13), here:
While I have not studied the amended convention in detail, I suspect that the opportunities to enlist other countries in the collection of U.S. taxes and resulting judgments will be significant. Now, of course, that does not address whether the FBAR penalty would be subject to this convention. I have not looked at that issue and, when I do, I will report my conclusions (but don't know when that will be).It may be helpful to readers to see the G-20 document, here, to which I referred. I cut and paste below the provisions that are relevant to this blog (emphasis supplied by JAT):
TAX ANNEX TO THE ST. PETERSBURG G20 LEADERS’ DECLARATION
TAX ANNEX TO THE SAINT PETERSBURG G20 LEADERS DECLARATION
1. The G20 has been at the forefront of efforts to establish a more effective, efficient and fair international tax system since they declared the era of bank secrecy over at the G20 London Summit in April 2009. In an increasingly borderless world, strengthening international cooperation in tax matters is essential to ensuring the integrity of national tax systems and maintaining trust in governments.
2. The Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes has played a critical role in ensuring that the international standard of exchange of information on request endorsed by the G20 is implemented effectively around the world. Since the Global Forum responded in 2009 to the G20’s call to ensure rapid implementation of its standards of transparency and exchange of information, the Global Forum has completed 113 peer review reports and has issued over 600 recommendations for improvement, with more than 300 of those recommendations having been acted upon to date. The number of jurisdictions that have committed to implement the standards and have joined the Global Forum has increased to 120. All but 14 of the jurisdictions reviewed have advanced to Phase 2 reviews, thus demonstrating the effectiveness of the peer review process in achieving the implementation of the standards. Those 14 jurisdictions are urged to implement the Global Forum’s recommendations without further delay. In July 2013, G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors asked the Global Forum to give overall ratings of exchange of information on request at its meeting in November 2013. The Global forum will draw on the work of FATF on beneficial ownership and ensure that all countries have information regarding the beneficial ownership of entities operating in their jurisdictions.
3. The G20 has now endorsed the development of a new global tax standard: to automatic exchange of information. At the Cannes Summit in 2011, the G20 agreed to consider exchanging information automatically for tax purposes on a voluntary basis. In 2012, the Los Cabos Summit welcomed the OECD report on automatic exchange and encouraged all countries to join this practice. Given the developments in the Global Forum and other recent advances, it is now time to migrate to a more ambitious, more efficient and higher standard, which is automatic exchange of information. Recent developments involving undisclosed foreign bank accounts have also highlighted the urgent need to move to this new standard which the Global Forum will monitor to ensure its effective implementation. In July 2013, G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors fully endorsed the ambitious OECD proposal for a truly global model for multilateral and bilateral automatic exchange of information for tax purposes and declared their commitment to automatic exchange of information as the new global standard. The OECD has initiated work with G20 countries to develop the new single global standard for automatic exchange of information. G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors have mandated the OECD to provide a progress report at the October Finance Ministers’ meeting, including a timeline for completing this work in 2014. The new standard (included in a Model Competent Authority Agreement) will be presented at G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors’ meeting in February 2014. There is a clear need for the practical and full implementation of this new tax standard on a global scale. The Global Forum will establish a mechanism to monitor and review the implementation of the new standard on automatic exchange of information and will be working with the OECD Task Force on Tax and Development, the World Bank Group and others to help developing countries identify their need for technical assistance and capacity building.
4. The next challenge regarding automatic exchange of information is now to get all jurisdictions to commit to this standard and put it into practice. Calling on all other jurisdictions to join us by the earliest possible date, we are committed to automatic exchange of information as the new global standard, which must ensure confidentiality and the proper use of information exchanged, and we fully support the OECD work with G20 countries aimed at presenting such a new single global standard for automatic exchange of information by February 2014 and to finalizing technical modalities of effective automatic exchange by mid-2014. In parallel, we expect to begin to exchange information automatically on tax matters among G20 members by the end of 2015. The multilateral Convention is key to ensuring rapid implementation of the new standard and to enabling developing countries to benefit from the new more transparent environment. In 2009 the OECD and the Council of Europe swiftly responded to the G20’s call for a multilateral instrument by amending the Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters in 2010 to meet international standards and to allow all countries with domestic laws that are sufficient to uphold the confidentiality of tax information to join. All G20 countries have led by example in signing this Convention and to date more than 70 countries and jurisdictions are covered or are likely to be covered by the Convention, including significant financial centres. The Convention is a powerful tool in the fight against tax evasion and allows for all forms of cooperation in tax matters, including automatic exchange of information. We expect all jurisdictions to join the Convention without further delay.
[Base Erosion Discussion Omitted: although offshore bank accounts are surely base erosion, typically base erosion evasion / avoidance is pursued by manipulations such a transfer pricing by mutinational enterprises ("MNEs")]
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8. Developing countries must reap the benefits of the G20 tax agenda. The G20-led efforts can advance efforts to improve domestic resource mobilisation. The Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information, the OECD Task Force on Tax and Development, the World Bank Group and other international organizations are key partners who can assist developing countries identify their needs for technical assistance and capacity building in implementing of the transparency and exchange of information standards, including through the multilateral Convention and automatic exchange of information. These efforts will help developing countries secure the corporate tax revenue they need to foster long-term development. The OECD’s Tax Inspectors Without Borders initiative to assist tax administrations of developing countries plays a useful role in this regard. Finally, we are committed to continue to assist developing countries, including through the IOs, in identifying individual country needs and building capacity in the area of tax administration (in addition to automatic exchange of information) and encourage such support to be developing country led.
9. Inernational taxation issues do not stop at addressing double non-taxation. We encourage continued discussion on other tax matters among tax administrators.