02/08/2012 09:50 EST | Updated 04/09/2012 05:12 EDT

US takes step to work with 5 European nations to crack down on tax evasion

WASHINGTON - The United States and five European nations are pledging to crack down on global tax evaders.

The Treasury Department said Wednesday that the U.S. government has signed a joint agreement with France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom to intensify their efforts to fight international tax evasion.

Treasury also announced that the Internal Revenue Service is publishing proposed rules investors will have to follow in reporting on earnings from foreign bank accounts.

The regulations were required under a 2010 law Congress passed aimed at cracking down on taxpayers using foreign accounts to avoid paying U.S. taxes.

"When taxpayers overseas avoid paying what they owe, other Americans have to bear a disproportionate share of the tax burden," said Emily S. McMahon, Treasury's acting assistant secretary for tax policy.

The regulations establish tax reporting requirements for foreign banks that hold accounts for U.S. taxpayers.

The IRS, the U.S. tax collector, will review the regulations and has the authority to modify them before they take effect.