Letter to Rep. Lloyd Doggett and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse Supporting H.R. 1932/S. 851; Which Would Target Egregious Offshore Exploitations

The Financial Accountability and Corporate Transparency Coalition (FACT Coalition) sent a letter to Rep. Lloyd Doggett and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse Supporting H.R. 1932/S. 851; which would target egregious offshore exploitations. The full letter can be read below or downloaded here.

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May 17, 2017

The Honorable Sheldon Whitehouse
United States Senate
530 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510

The Honorable Lloyd Doggett
Ranking Member, Subcommittee on Tax Policy
United States House of Representatives
2307 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515

RE: Stop Tax Haven Abuse Act of 2017 (S.851/H.R.1932)

Dear Senator Whitehouse and Representative Doggett,

We write on behalf of the Financial Accountability and Corporate Transparency Coalition (FACT Coalition) to thank you for your leadership in introducing the Stop Tax Haven Abuse Act of 2017 (S.851/H.R.1932), which would target some of the most egregious offshore exploitations.

The FACT Coalition is a non-partisan alliance of more than 100 state, national, and international organizations working toward a fair tax system that addresses the challenges of a global economy and promoting policies to combat the harmful impacts of corrupt financial practices.[1]

A common theme from both Democrats and Republicans in the recent election was the increasing problem that multinational companies are moving money and jobs offshore. These practices are encouraged by loopholes in the tax code — loopholes that costs honest taxpayers an estimated $135 billion per year.[2]   At the same time, it’s estimated that wealthy tax cheats illegally evade up to $70 billion in taxes each year by stashing their money in secret offshore bank accounts.[3]  This means that middle-class Americans and domestic businesses have to pick up the roughly $200 billion in revenue lost to offshore tax haven abuses.

The debate around tax reform should focus its attention on closing these loopholes.  Unfortunately, some of the plans from Congress are likely to make matters worse by expanding the loopholes that got us into the mess we are in today. These plans are in direct contradiction with the clear message from the election that we certainly should not be subsidizing wealthy tax cheats or companies who move offshore.

In contrast, the Stop Tax Haven Abuse Act offers the type of tax reform we need — it would close unfair tax loopholes that allow multinational companies to offshore profits and escape responsibility for paying their fair share. When multinational companies and wealthy individuals abuse tax havens, it’s domestic businesses and middle-class Americans who get left picking up the tab.

The reforms in S.851 and H.R.1932 could and should garner bipartisan support, while offering more sensible and popular reforms than the radical alternatives that are dividing the Congress.  That is why the FACT Coalition is proud to support the Stop Tax Haven Abuse Act.

Thank you again for your leadership in protecting honest taxpayers from those who seek to shirk their civic responsibility.  For more information, please feel free to contact Clark Gascoigne at cgascoigne@nullthefactcoalition.org.

Sincerely,

Gary Kalman
Executive Director
The FACT Coalition

Clark Gascoigne
Deputy Director
The FACT Coalition

cc:          The Honorable Orrin Hatch, Chairman, Senate Committee on Finance
The Honorable Ron Wyden, Ranking Member, Senate Committee on Finance
The Honorable Kevin Brady, Chairman, House Committee on Ways and Means
The Honorable Richard Neal, Ranking Member, House Committee on Ways and Means
The Honorable Peter Roskam, Chairman, Subcommittee on Tax Policy

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Footnotes:
  1. For a full list of FACT members, see: https://thefactcoalition.org/about/coalition-members-and-supporters/
  2. Merle, Renae. U.S. companies are saving $100 billion a year by shifting profits overseas, report says. The Washington Post. May 10, 2016. http://wpo.st/gIwp1 (accessed August 1, 2016).
  3. Guttentag, Joseph, and Reuven Avi-Yonah. “Closing the International Tax Gap.” In Bridging the Tax Gap: Addressing the Crisis in Federal Tax Administration, edited by M. B. Sawicky, 99-110. Washington, D.C.: Economic Policy Institute, 2006.
About the FACT Coalition

The Financial Accountability and Corporate Transparency (FACT) Coalition is a non-partisan alliance of more than 100 state, national, and international organizations working toward a fair tax system that addresses the challenges of a global economy and promoting policies to combat the harmful impacts of corrupt financial practices.

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