US signs latest tax evasion agreement

The U.S. has signed an agreement with France to implement a measure to crack down on offshore tax evasion, its tenth such agreement.

France joins nine countries — Denmark, Germany, Ireland, Norway, Spain, Switzerland and the United Kingdom, Mexico and Japan — in signing an agreement with the U.S. to install the Foreign Accounting Tax Compliance Act (FATCA).

Those deals, the Treasury Department says, help to reduce the burdens of implementing FATCA, which Congress passed in 2010 after a White House push against tax evasion.

"France has been an enthusiastic supporter of our effort to promote global tax transparency and critical to drafting a model of FATCA implementation," Robert Stack, the Treasury’s deputy assistant secretary for international tax affairs, said in a statement. "This agreement demonstrates the growing global momentum behind FATCA and strong support from the world's most important economies."

Under FATCA, the U.S. seeks information from foreign banks about accounts held by Americans. Foreign banks that don’t share information with the IRS would face a 30 percent withholding fee on certain payments connected to the U.S.

The financial industry has said that FATCA will be a drag on banks and other businesses.

The Treasury Department says it has reached agreements in principle with 16 other countries to implement FATCA and is in talks with others.