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IRS forms 'SWAT team' for tax dodger crackdown

Published: March 21, 2012
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Source: Reuters

The U.S. Internal Revenue Service is staffing up with high-powered talent to crack down on companies shifting profits from country to country to lower their tax bills, a strategy the agency has targeted before with only limited success.

The IRS showed its elevated concern on the issue, known as "transfer pricing," last May by hiring Samuel Maruca to fill the newly created post of transfer pricing director.

He has since brought aboard specialists from Big Four audit firms KPMG and Ernst & Young LLP, as well as law firm Mayer Brown and boutique consultancy Horst Frisch.

Maruca, who came from law firm Covington & Burling, is still recruiting. He told Reuters the agency previously had "had a difficult time attracting and retaining economists."

Now, he said, the IRS's international group "has significant external hiring authority."

Transfer pricing is a booming field of global tax law. It involves multinational corporations that are constantly moving goods, services and assets from one subsidiary to another in different countries and how they account for these "transfers."

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