Award is Part of Training Session Held to Educate, Motivate Activists
Des Moines, IA – Capping the first day of its two-day training sessions in Iowa, the FACT (Financial Accountability and Corporate Transparency) Coalition today honored Senator Charles Grassley (R-IA) with an award marking its appreciation of his efforts in to make corporate ownership more transparent.
FACT is holding a two-day training session in Des Moines called “Organizing for Tax Fairness.” The training brings together community leaders, faith leaders, small business owners and activists to learn more about corporate tax avoidance and tax havens, the use of anonymous shell companies, and how they are used to facilitate money laundering, all at the expense of priorities that benefit all Americans.
The award for Senator Grassley is being given, “In gratitude to Senator Grassley for his leadership in fighting crime by making corporate ownership more transparent.” In prior sessions of Congress, Senator Grassley sponsored legislation, the Incorporation Transparency and Law Enforcement Assistance Act, and the bill is due to be introduced again. The FACT Coalition is keen to see meaningful progress on this issue.
It may surprise people to know that you only need to provide four items of information in order to create an Iowa company: the name of the company, the number of authorized shares, the name and address of the registered agent, and the name and address of each incorporator. Registered agents and incorporators can be lawyers or companies paid for those services, not anyone actually in charge of the company. You don’t need to list the officers, directors or shareholders – there in no need to indicate who actually owns or controls an Iowa company. You need to provide more identifying information to get a library card or a drivers’ license. Many state incorporation laws require similar, scant information.
“We appreciate Senator Grassley’s long-standing work on opening up corporate ownership to the light of day,” said FACT Executive Director Rebecca Wilkins. “When anonymous shell companies are used for tax evasion, the public loses through cuts to public programs or higher taxes, and when wealthy individuals and companies use anonymous companies to flood cash into our elections, we lose control over our democracy. When they are used to defraud the Defense Department, it puts our soldiers and our citizens in danger.”
“Senator Grassley has been a leading proponent of strong legislation to eradicate anonymous companies in the U.S.,” commented Heather Lowe, Legal Counsel and Director of Government Affairs at Global Financial Integrity. “We are educating grassroots groups and small businesses here in Iowa about on this issue and we hope their interest encourages Senator Grassley to continue to back strong, comprehensive legislation to eradicate anonymous companies.”
Founded in 2011, the Financial Accountability and Corporate Transparency (FACT) Coalition unites civil society representatives from small business, labor, government watchdog, faith-based, human rights, anti-corruption, public-interest, and international development organizations. We seek an honest and fair corporate tax code, greater transparency in corporate ownership and operations, and commonsense policies to combat the facilitation of money laundering and other criminal activity by the legitimate financial system.