Op-Eds

A Taxing Headache from Congress

By Gary Kalman

Just in time for tax day, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office is out with a new analysis of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. It is one of the many reminders that, as we file this year, we are already thinking about next year, thanks to the recent rewrite of the nation’s tax laws.

The CBO weighed in with estimates that are worth a serious review. They looked at, among other provisions, the international corporate tax changes and attempted to answer these questions: Will the new rules stop corporations from using accounting gimmicks to shift profits offshore? Will the law stop the gaming?

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Tax overhaul risks jobs, rewards offshore tax avoidance

By Clark Gascoigne

Supporters of the new tax law said the corporate cuts would lead to a $4,000 increase in the annual paychecks of ordinary Americans. Others, including those in the administration, claimed $9,000.

The bill’s now law. Raise your hand if you make $50,000 – roughly the average wage – and expect a $9,000 raise this year?

I suspect few hands went up.

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Encouraging Signs for a Possible U.S. Legislative Crackdown on Anonymous Companies

By Gary Kalman

A little over a year ago, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) released the Panama Papers, a treasure trove of information and a window into the world of financial secrecy. In some ways, much of what the Panama Papers revealed was already well known. Previous estimates put the amount of money hidden in offshore secrecy havens somewhere between $8 trillion and $32 trillion. In 2015, The New York Times published an impressive five-part series on the use of anonymous shell companies to purchase prime real estate in New York City. Prior to that, the U.S. Justice Department filed a lawsuit (which they just won on June 29th) to force the forfeiture of New York property secretly owned by the government of Iran in direct violation of economic sanctions. And so on. Yet it is hard to deny the captivating intrigue of the specific stories in the Panama Papers involving Russian kleptocrats, world leaders, athletes, movie stars, and others.

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Legalized Cheating

By Gary Kalman

Massive corporations are cheating us out of trillions of dollars that our infrastructure desperately needs. And none of it is illegal.

Crumbling bridges, abandoned schools, stalled plans for green energy—name a problem with American infrastructure, and someone will tell you the issue is a simple lack of funds.

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Tax Notes Op-Ed: What Apple Teaches About How Not to Reform Corporate Taxes

By Gary Kalman

In this article—originally published in Tax Notes—FACT Executive Director Gary Kalman uses the recent Apple tax ruling by the European Commission to identify problems with proposals for a territorial tax system in the United States. He argues that policymakers should instead focus on ending deferral, requiring public country-by-country reporting, and adopting provisions of the Stop Tax Haven Abuse Act.

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Fortune Magazine Op-Ed: It’s Time for the U.S. to Deal With Tax Evaders

By Clark Gascoigne

America Is the World’s Newest Tax Haven

If I asked you to name the world’s biggest tax haven, you might come up with the Cayman Islands, Bermuda, or Luxembourg. Those of you following the recent series of so-called “corporate tax inversions” might guess Ireland.

You probably wouldn’t think of the United States, but the latest edition of Bloomberg Businessweek points its finger squarely at Uncle Sam—and not without reason.

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New York Times Letter: Real Estate Transparency

By Clark Gascoigne

In a New York Times letter, FACT’s Clark Gascoigne writes that Treasury’s plan falls short of what’s needed to combat the financial system’s role as a money-laundering haven.

To the Editor:

Re “Property Sales Get U.S. Scrutiny” (front page, Jan. 14):

The Treasury Department’s plan to scrutinize the secret companies buying real estate in New York and Miami is a welcome first step toward cleaning up parts of the real estate market, but it falls far short of what’s truly needed to combat the United States financial system’s role as a major money-laundering haven.

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Grassley, Iowa Could Stop Hidden Ownership

By Rebecca Wilkins

We need a system of increased accountability with a public registry of the people who really control companies. It’s time to shut down the ability to hide the owners and bring them out of the shadows for everyone to see.

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Endorsing Tax Evasion

By Rebecca Wilkins

A vote in favor of repealing FATCA sends a message: a message to foreign banks that they can get back to helping wealthy Americans hide their assets and use offshore accounts to evade tax.

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