Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Obama to Close Offshore Tax Havens

The Department of Justice is also going after wealthy tax cheats with secret Swiss UBS bank accounts who are illegally hiding their money.
Tax havens are legal loopholes that wealthy people take advantage of because they can. Sen. Carl Levin has been leading this charge to close tax loopholes.
HP: As part of the budget that he will introduce this Thursday, President Barack Obama will call for the closure of tax havens that allow companies to pay greatly reduced tax rates, an administration official tells the Huffington Post.

The inclusion of "funding for a robust portfolio of IRS international tax compliance initiatives" could help Congress make up an estimated $100 billion of revenue that is lost when companies set up what are often P.O. box addresses in locales like the Cayman Islands. Another Democratic official involved in the budget proceedings, however, cautioned that closing these loopholes could pose additional difficulties, specifically in determining which jurisdictions qualify as tax havens, and which companies qualify as domestic.
Who takes advantage of tax havens? 
A GAO report from December revealed that 83 of the 100 largest publicly traded U.S. corporations had placed subsidiaries in tax haven jurisdictions to, ostensibly, pay less on their tax bills.