The global effort by the U.S. government to catch American tax cheats intensified this week as France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom have agreed to support a broad new U.S. law requiring foreign financial institutions to disclose information about the foreign bank accounts of U.S. citizens. In return, the U.S. has agreed to automatically supply information on accounts by citizens of those countries in the U.S.

“This is important. I’m surprised how much it comes up even in a practice like mine where just 10% of my clients have some assets in foreign bank accounts,” said Troy Thompson, a financial planner, former tax lawyer and the founder of Thompson Advisory in Portland, Oregon. “People are going to have legitimate concerns about this if they can’t get a bank account in England. It’s going to be hard on them.”

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