The Internal Revenue Service, in probing how $100 billion of credit card payments escape sales and income taxes each year, is looking at clients of processors including First Data Corp.

At a time when the Obama administration is preparing for a battle with multinationals over closing tax loopholes, small retailers and service providers are minimizing their U.S. tax bills by sending credit card receipts to Panama, Nevis, Aruba and the Cayman Islands.

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