Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Stop Tax Haven Abuse Act unveiled in U.S. House

Following the introduction of the Stop Tax Haven Abuse Act in the U.S. Senate by Senator Carl Levin, we now have an updated press release on its introduction in the House of Representatives:
Reps. Doggett, Levin, DeLauro Introduce Bill to Stop Abuse of Tax Havens
July 27 2011, For Immediate Release. Contact: Sarah Dohl (202) 225-4865

Washington, DC— Today, over 40 Members of the House led by Representatives Lloyd Doggett (D-TX), Sander Levin (D-MI) and Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), introduced the Stop Tax Haven Abuse Act, which would curb abuses of the international tax laws that cost taxpayers nearly $100 billion a year. Senator Carl Levin (D-MI) recently introduced the same legislation in the Senate.

“It is long past time to take effective action to stop offshore tax dodging,” said Congressman Lloyd Doggett, a senior member of the House Ways and Means and Budget Committees. “Revenue lost to these tax avoidance schemes contributes to the soaring budget deficit and increases the burden on small businesses, families, and others who play by the rules.”

“Offshore tax abuses are not only undermining public confidence in our tax system, but increasing the tax burden on middle America,” said Senator Levin, who had introduced companion legislation in the Senate. “People are sick and tired of tax dodgers using offshore trickery and abusive tax shelters to avoid paying their fair share. This bill offers powerful new tools to combat offshore and tax shelter abuses, raise revenues, and eliminate incentives to send U.S. profits and jobs offshore. Its provisions, which can help stop the $100 billion per year drain on the Treasury, will hopefully be part of any deficit reduction package this year, but should be passed in any event.”

“Abuse of tax havens is a serious problem that undermines our entire tax system, let alone leads to higher deficits. We must step up enforcement, close offshore tax loopholes and ensure that working families are not unfairly burdened because of people trying to avoid paying the taxes they owe,” said Congressman Levin, Ranking Member of the House Ways and Means Committee.

“Addressing tax haven abuse is a critical part of addressing our national deficit. Too many companies are avoiding taxes by sheltering money overseas, and this legislation will ensure this unfair practice is halted,” said Congresswoman DeLauro. “The cost, both in dollars and jobs, at a time when so many families are still struggling, is unacceptable.”

The bill is supported by small business, labor, and public interest groups, including the Financial Accountability and Corporate Transparency (FACT) Coalition, American Sustainable Business Council, Business for Shared Prosperity, Main Street Alliance, AFL-CIO, SEIU, Citizens for Tax Justice, Tax Justice Network-USA, U.S. Public Interest Research Group, Global Financial Integrity, Global Witness, Jubilee USA, and Public Citizen.

A number of provisions from past versions of the legislation have made it into law, such as measures to curb abusive foreign trusts, close offshore dividend tax loopholes, and strengthen penalties on tax shelter promoters.

The Stop Tax Haven Abuse Act would authorize the Treasury Secretary to take special measures against foreign jurisdictions or financial institutions that impede U.S. tax enforcement, close offshore tax loopholes, and increase penalties on tax shelter promoters.

For a more detailed summary of the legislation, please click here.

To read Rep. Doggett’s op-ed on the Stop Tax Haven Abuse Act, please click here.
Also see the FACT coalition's statement here.

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