US government helping the Dutch with tax evasion


One of the criticisms lodged against countries complying with the Foriegn Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) is that the relaitionship is one-way. All these countries have forced their financial sectors to spend billions of dollars to help the US detect non-compliance taxpayers. Yet, the US rarely returns the favor and shares no information back.


Perhaps in light of this criticism and perhaps because the US government wants assistance, the US Department of of Justice announced a program to help the Kingdom of the Netherlands find and detect their taxpayers who may have been non-compliant in a press release dated April 3, 2017.


The DOJ issued a 'John Doe summons' to American Express's headquarters in Texas for information on Netherlands issued credit cards that are linked to non-Netherlands banks accounts.


This is the first time we can think of where a John Doe summons has been used so broadly to detect non-US citizens. While  John Doe summons have been issued on behalf of the the Kingdom of Norway, thsoe  were addressed to specific account holders whose names were unknown.


In this case for John Doe summons against Duth account holders, both accounts and account owners are unknown.


Whether you are US person who had a John Doe summons issued againt them, or a Dutch citizen facing this investigaiton, this summons does not mean you did anything illegal. The standard to obtain a John Doe summons is so low that no specific wrong doing, no specific taxpayer needs to be alleged.


Press release: https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/court-authorizes-service-john-doe-summons-seeking-information-about-dutch-residents-using