Taxes are increasingly spreading beyond national and state borders to make more of a global impact, affecting economic activity across the world.

The U.S. Treasury Department has been signing agreements to share information with the tax authorities in other countries about the holdings of U.S. citizens, as well as citizens of other countries. It's all part of an effort to combat offshore tax evasion and implement the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, also known as FATCA. Last month, the U.S. signed such an agreement with Switzerland, on the heels of striking similar deals with the United Kingdom, Denmark, Mexico and Ireland (see U.S. Signs Tax Compliance Agreement with Switzerland). The federal government is in talks with more than 50 countries about setting up such intergovernmental agreements.

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