IRS may use First Data info for help in finding tax evaders

R. A. Hettinga rah at
Wed Aug 4 05:47:10 PDT 2004


The Denver Post

IRS may use First Data info for help in finding tax evaders
 By Andy Vuong
 Denver Post Staff Writer

 Wednesday, August 04, 2004 -

 A federal judge has granted the Internal Revenue Service the right to seek
information from First Data Corp. about certain credit-card transactions
the company has processed.

 The IRS wants the information as part of its crackdown on tax evaders.

 Specifically, the IRS wants information about holders of American Express,
Visa and MasterCard credit cards that were issued by or on behalf of
certain offshore financial institutions.

 The government listed more than 30 offshore jurisdictions, including
Aruba, the Bahamas, Bermuda, the Cayman Islands, Hong Kong, Singapore and

 The IRS said in a court filing that it believes those account holders "may
fail, or may have failed, to comply with internal revenue laws."

 The IRS is targeting people who held such accounts between Dec. 31, 1999,
and Dec. 31, 2003.

 The government is seeking the names of the account holders, their
credit-card statements, their credit limit and information on when they
opened their accounts.

 "We haven't seen the order, but we always comply with the law," said First
Data spokeswoman Staci Busby.

 She declined to comment further about the order by U.S. District Judge
Phillip Figa, which was made Monday.

 In 2003, Greenwood Village-based First Data processed 12.2 billion payment
transactions, Busby said.

 Judges have granted so-called "John Doe" summons in five similar
situations, the IRS said in court documents.

R. A. Hettinga <mailto: rah at>
The Internet Bearer Underwriting Corporation <>
44 Farquhar Street, Boston, MA 02131 USA
"... however it may deserve respect for its usefulness and antiquity,
[predicting the end of the world] has not been found agreeable to
experience." -- Edward Gibbon, 'Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire'

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