June 20, 2017
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June 20, 2017
June 15, 2017
For the second time, Wells Fargo was found liable for a tax penalty in connection with an abusive tax shelter. This points to a broader trend where companies’ abusive tax schemes are being exposed to increasing public discontent. In the case of Wells Fargo, a jury in Minnesota had previously nixed $350 million in foreign tax credits finding that they “lacked both economic substance and a non-tax business purpose.” Now, a federal court has found them liable for a 20% negligence penalty from the IRS. The court’s decision is yet another example that the tax gimmicks employed by multinationals to inflate profits are becoming riskier.
In a blog, FACT’s Jacob Wills explained the current climate around tax fairness, “Scandals have shaken public confidence in the integrity and fairness of the tax system at a time when tightening budgets and increasing deficits are leading to calls for austerity and scaling back on long relied upon public services.”
It should be no surprise that tax avoidance schemes face increased scrutiny, a recent report suggests that the ultra-wealthy are dodging more in tax than many had previously estimated. Economists Annette Alstadsæter, Niels Johannesen, and Gabriel Zucman took data from two tax haven leaks — the Panama Papers and Swiss leaks — in order to get more accurate estimates of tax evasion. Their findings: the ultra-rich — on average — evade about 30% of their due taxes, compared to the average evasion rate of 2.9%.Read More...
June 7, 2017
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Just one week after pulling out of the Paris Agreement to combat climate change, the U.S. administration has chosen to back away from yet another international convention — this one to combat abusive tax avoidance. Coincidentally, the tax agreement was also negotiated and signed in Paris — at the headquarters of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).Read More...
May 19, 2017
Profits booked offshore are growing at an even faster pace than previously predicted. Earlier this month, Apple made waves when it disclosed that of its more than $250 billion in cash worldwide, $239 billion is kept offshore. Some of the growth in cash booked offshore is likely due to the perception that Congress and the administration are inching ever closer to a deal that would allow these companies to return the money at a steep discount.
One plan presented by Democratic Representative John Delaney equates to a corporate hand-out of nearly $550 billion. In a recent blog, the Institute for Taxation and Economic Policy analyzes the plan disguised as a pay-for for infrastructure spending. There is no doubt with a backlog of $836 billion in much-needed repairs, investments in infrastructure need more funding. However, as ITEP argues, this plan will only make the problem of inadequate revenue worse.Read More...
April 26, 2017
The Administration released an outline today of its plan to reform the corporate tax code. The signature reform is a reduction of the corporate tax rate from 35% to 15%.Read More...
April 18, 2017
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.Read More...
April 12, 2017
Last April, the world’s attention was captured by a global investigation revealing more than 11 million documents from a Panamanian law firm documenting a secret financial network reserved for the wealthy and corrupt. Now, one year later, the “Panama Papers” was just awarded the prestigious Pulitzer Prize for Explanatory Reporting, while experts are reflecting on how far we’ve come and how much farther we really need to go. There is no doubt that the “Panama Papers” release reverberated throughout the world, but—with the extent of the problem the information exposed—it’s clear not enough has been done.
In a statement marking the the anniversary, FACT’s Gary Kalman graded the global response to the Panama Papers a “C-”, calling the progress “more scattershot than comprehensive.” Though some real progress has been made, more must be done, especially when it comes to ending the abuse of anonymous companies. In a blog that followed, he further reflected on this past year and made a prediction for the future—saying he is optimistic that, by the next anniversary, our grade will improve.Read More...
April 6, 2017
WASHINGTON, D.C. – New legislation introduced Thursday by Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI) takes aim at the biggest offshore tax avoidance loopholes, offering a sensible template for tax reform, according to the Financial Accountability and Corporate Transparency Coalition (FACT Coalition).Read More...
April 5, 2017
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressional lawmakers introduced two measures Wednesday to close a number of offshore tax haven loopholes in a move welcomed by the Financial Accountability and Corporate Transparency Coalition (FACT Coalition).Read More...
April 3, 2017
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Monday, April 3rd marks the one year anniversary of the leak of the “Panama Papers” — more than 11 million documents from a Panamanian law firm obtained by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ).Read More...