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The US government has ordered online auctioneer eBay's payment service PayPal to turn over records that could expose foreign accounts where tax cheats have hidden money, PayPal said last night.
The US Internal Revenue Service wants the company to reveal the details of accounts linked to banks or credit cards in 35 countries. A summons issued by US District Court Judge James Ware in San Jose ordered PayPal to hand over records dating back to 1999, when the Internet money-transfer service was launched.
PayPal said it was evaluating its options, and added that it takes the privacy of its customers' information very seriously. Tax collectors wanted records of transactions connected to countries where local laws could protect specious tax shelters from scrutiny by US officials, it said.
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