18,857 firms: one registered address. Ugland House goes to Washington.
Addressing the Committee's hearings, TJN senior adviser Jack Blum said it was completely unacceptable for offshore corporations to continue to be treated as beneficial owners and he proposed that, amongst measures to tackle tax evasion the qualified intermediary programme, which was comprehensively abused by the U.S. division of Swiss private banking giant UBS, should quite simply be abolished.
In a dramatic intervention during discussions with Inland Revenue Service Commissioner Frank Ng, Committee Chairman Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) showed his exasparation at the lack of progress being made in tackling tax havens: "I don't think you guys are taking this seriously. I'm all done defending you."
Referring to the difficulties facing national authorities in a world of globalised financial markets, Jack commented:
"The regulators are in the position of police on a freeway without a speed limit using bicycles to stop Ferraris. The tax avoiders and tax cheats see national borders as their friends and freely use secrecy jurisdictions and jurisdictions with lax trust, corporation and insurance laws to create structures that hide money from tax collectors and law enforcement."
You can watch Jack's testimony, and that of other expert witnesses called to the Finance Committee hearing here.