Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Doggett: FATCA stops short of targeting all fat cats

Last March, Democratic Representative Lloyd Doggett introduced a bill in the U.S. House of Representatives as a companion to the (identical) Stop Tax Haven Abuse Act whose press released noted that

"We cannot tolerate $100 billion in offshore tax abuses burning a hole through our budget each year. We can fight back against secrecy jurisdictions and shut down offshore tax abuses if we have the political will."

Doggett's office has contacted us today and noted that new legislation has been introduced:
the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act of 2009 (FATCA.) Doggett said (no link available yet):

“It is very good to finally see some action on tax abuse. Treasury Secretary Geithner testified in March that he ‘fully support[s]’ the ‘Stop Tax Haven Abuse’ Act that Senator Carl Levin and I previously introduced. While pleased that this proposal incorporates a number of elements from our bill and adds other desirable provisions, FATCA omits action on multinational corporate tax evasion. Like its name, FATCA stops short of targeting all FAT CATS. U.S. corporations should not be able to dodge U.S. taxes simply by filing a piece of paper and renting a foreign mailbox.”

“I look forward to working with my colleagues to seek a meaningful response to international tax abuse by corporate persons. Visiting a sandy foreign beach is fine for time off, but not for a tax break. Hopefully, today's proposal can be strengthened to belatedly end the Bush Administration’s coddling of multinationals that refuse to pay their fair share while our nation is engaged in two wars.”

Well said. The legislative text is here, and the FATCA measure, which is expected to raise a modest $300 million each year on average, was described by one U.S. lawyer as "basically a fee for maintaining bank secrecy." Which isn't good enough.


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