Congress Should Reject Tax Haven Lobby’s Push to Repeal FATCA Transparency Measure
WASHINGTON, D.C. – As millions of Americans head to the post office today — this year’s deadline for filing individual tax returns — there is a stepped-up effort to make it easier for some to illegally evade paying their taxes. A relatively small but influential group is advocating for the repeal of the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), a landmark transparency measure. On April 6, Senator Rand Paul and Representative Mark Meadows introduced bills to repeal FATCA. We expect hearings on the bills in the near future.
Clark Gascoigne, the deputy director of the Financial Accountability and Corporate Transparency Coalition (FACT Coalition), issued the following statement:
“Whether you believe that you pay too much in taxes or too little, you, like the vast majority of Americans, will responsibly and patriotically file your taxes by today’s deadline. However, there’s a small, but significant, group of people who have for years shirked this responsibility. They simply hide their assets in foreign banks to illegally evade taxes. This type of tax dodging costs honest taxpayers as much as $70 billion per year – that’s approximately triple what we spent on infrastructure.
“A basic transparency measure known as FATCA will now make it a lot harder for the cheaters to cheat. Just as your U.S. bank sends a form to you and the IRS each year on your accounts for tax purposes, this law requires foreign banks to do the same. Before that, many rich people just used foreign banks to hide their money. According to 2009 Justice Department lawsuit, as many as 52,000 U.S. account holders failed to pay taxes they owed on $14.8 billion in cash and securities.
“The law was so successful at identifying tax cheats that 100 other countries have since adopted similar transparency measures. The push to repeal is misguided. That’s not the type of tax reform anyone voted for.”
Notes to Editors:
- Read an online version of this statement.
- Read a blog post by FACT’s Clark Gascoigne on FATCA, publisehd March 27, 2017.
- Read a Tax Day blog post by U.S. PIRG’s Michelle Surka highlighting state-level efforts to combat tax haven abuse.
Deputy Director, The FACT Coalition
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