Senators Push to Tighten Tax Loopholes

Published July 12, 2011 |

“Any discussion of fiscal responsibility cannot stop at our shores and should include both sides of the ledger.”

Washington, D.C. – infoZine – “Saying that offshore tax havens deprive the United States Treasury of tens of billions of dollars of revenue a year, two senior Democratic senators are pushing to help reduce the federal deficit by tightening rules that allow hedge funds, derivatives traders and corporations to skirt federal taxes.

“A bill unveiled Tuesday by Senator Carl Levin, chairman of the permanent subcommittee on investigations, would change Internal Revenue Service regulations that allow American traders of credit-default swaps to avoid paying federal taxes on many transactions that begin in the United States. It would also tighten rules that enable some hedge funds and corporations based in the United States to reduce their federal tax liabilities by declaring themselves foreign companies and moving a small part of their operations overseas.” The New York Times reports.

Nicole Tichon is executive director of Tax Justice Network USA and a founding member of the Financial Accountability and Corporate Transparency (FACT) coalition. She said today: “At a time when Congress and the Administration are wringing their hands to come up with ways to address the deficit, this bill offers specific ways to not only raise revenue, but also level the playing field for small businesses and fix a broken tax system that facilitates job loss, crime and economic devastation. Any discussion of fiscal responsibility cannot stop at our shores and should include both sides of the ledger. This is a proposal that all taxpayers can get behind.” link

Frank Knapp is president and CEO of the South Carolina Small Business Chamber of Commerce. He said today: “Small businesses are the lifeblood of local economies. We pay our fair share of taxes and generate most of the new jobs. Why should we be subsidizing U.S. multinationals that use offshore tax havens to avoid paying taxes? Big corporations benefit immensely from all the advantages of being headquartered in our country. It’ s time to level the playing field. We need to stop tax haven abuse – not reward it with tax holidays.” link

Brian Setzler  is a member of Business for Shared Prosperity, an advocacy organization leading the “Business and Investors Against Tax Haven Abuse” capmapign. Setzler said today: “Imagine if I took my U.S. college degrees and CPA license off my wall, stuck them in a safe deposit box for a shell corporation I created in Bermuda, and told my Oregon clients to send their payments there. Imagine this little accounting trick allowed me to avoid paying U.S. taxes until I brought those ‘foreign’ funds back to the United States – or maybe I’d just go retire in Bermuda. This is just the kind of absurd accounting acrobatics U.S. multinational corporations use to avoid paying billions of dollars annually in U.S. corporate income taxes.”

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