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US to unleash tax collector on Russian banks
Worse than Ukraine sanctions? US is planning to unleash tax collector IRS on Russian banks
By STEPHEN OHLEMACHER
Associated Press
2014-05-06 03:01 AM

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The United States is deploying an economic weapon against Russia that could prove to be more costly than sanctions: the Internal Revenue Service.

As the U.S. attempts to punish Russia for its actions in Ukraine, the Treasury Department plans to start using a new tax law to make it more expensive for Russian banks to do business in the U.S. Congress passed the law in 2010 to curb tax evasion through the use of overseas accounts.

Starting July 1, the law targets foreign financial institutions that don't agree to share information about U.S. account holders with the IRS. Russia had been negotiating an information-sharing agreement with the U.S. But after Russia annexed Crimea and was seen as stoking separatist movements in eastern Ukraine, Treasury suspended negotiations.

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