While the world – and our country – faced many intersecting challenges, we’ve had a banner year of campaigning success. Beyond policy wins, we’ve helped change the narrative to argue that corruption and tax avoidance are major threats to democratic societies. None of this would have been possible without the collaboration of our members, allies, funders, and friends.
Ending Anonymous Shell Companies
The first day of 2021 saw the enactment of a long-held FACT Coalition priority, the Corporate Transparency Act. When fully implemented, this landmark law will end the scourge of anonymous shell companies used by the criminal and corrupt to launder money and evade taxes. Our collective work was credited in the media for being a big part of this historic achievement.
FACT has been in the trenches working to cement our victory and provided a comprehensive blueprint for implementation to the Biden Administration in May.
Stopping Money Laundering in Real Estate
Our member, Global Financial Integrity, issued a report documenting more than $2.3 billion in money laundering over the last five years. This fall, we brought together anti-corruption advocates and housing rights activists to show how money laundering makes it more difficult for ordinary Americans to rent and buy homes.
FACT’s IMPACT: The White House heard our call, and last week the Treasury Department kickstarted a process to stem the flow of dirty money into the U.S. real estate sector.
Raising the Alarm on the Private Investment Industry
We’ve conducted research to make the case that money laundering through the $11 trillion private investment industry is a threat to U.S. national security and the fight against corruption. “Private Investments, Public Harms”, co-produced with Transparency International – US Office and Global Financial Integrity, lays out why this massive, opaque, and complex industry must be subject to anti-money laundering requirements.
FACT’s IMPACT: A week after our launch, the first-ever U.S. strategy to counter corruption recognized the threat and committed to develop new regulations to tackle the problem.
Building Fairer and More Transparent Tax Systems
New U.S. leadership paved the way for a global deal to end the race to the bottom on corporate taxes and establish a global minimum corporate income tax. Tax dodging by multinationals has never received so much attention, with part of President Biden’s State of the Union calling out the many very profitable multinationals pay little or no tax. Work to fully implement the international agreement remains, including to ensure that the deal works to advance the interests of developed and developing nations alike. FACT has been focused on the international tax provisions in the Build Back Better legislation, with significant progress on closing egregious tax loopholes that encourage multinationals to shift profits and offshore investments.
FACT’s IMPACT: Our campaign to ensure that multinationals disclose their taxes wherever they operate has notched big wins as well, with investors worth close to $3 trillion weighing in with Congress and the House passing legislation that would require public disclosure of country-by-country tax information.
Spreading our Message
The Pandora Papers showed that the U.S. is deeply implicated in systems of financial secrecy and Treasury Secretary Yellen echoed our long held view that the “best place to hide and launder ill-gotten gains is the U.S.” Leveraging these bombshell stories, our government affairs director, Erica Hanichak, testified in Congress to argue that the revelations require the U.S. to ensure strong implementation of the Corporate Transparency Act and full funding for our financial crime fighters. Beyond the halls of Congress, our message is being heard far and wide, with FACT staff and coalition members speaking at major events and quoted in major outlets around the world, including the Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, AP, Frontline, and many more.
A Big Year Ahead
In 2022, it’s time to turn these victories into lasting change and to stop the global rich and political elites from abusing financial secrecy to evade taxes and accountability for crimes. I’m extremely thankful for our all-star secretariat team (Erica, Ryan, Chris, Olivia, and alums Clark and Jacob) and we will count on the collaboration and work of all our members and allies in the year ahead.