What do the Iranian government, a fugitive international jeweler, and a disgraced Harvard University fencing coach have in common? They have all used U.S. real estate to launder their ill-gotten gains. In Acres of Money Laundering: Why U.S. Real Estate is a Kleptocrat’s Dream, Global Financial Integrity (GFI) dives into the murky world of global money laundering and demonstrates the ease with which kleptocrats, criminals, sanctions evaders, and corrupt government officials choose the U.S. real estate market as their preferred destination to hide and launder proceeds from illicit activities.
Titled “Anonymous Companies Help Finance Illicit Commerce and Harm American Businesses and Citizens: A Need for Incorporation Transparency,” this May 2019 report from the Financial Accountability and Corporate Transparency Coalition (FACT Coalition) explains that the trafficking and smuggling of counterfeit and pirated goods is a very profitable illegal activity for many of today’s criminals and illicit networks and that these networks rely on the secrecy provided by anonymous entities to launder their ill-gotten-gains and escape detection.
There is a growing chorus of individuals and organizations speaking out on the value of tax transparency and, in particular, the public country-by-country reporting (CBCR) of certain financial information for multinational companies, according to this April 2019 report published by the Financial Accountability and Corporate Transparency Coalition (FACT Coalition).
Titled “Trending Toward Transparency: The Rise of Public Country-by-Country Reporting,” the report highlights the growing support among various sectors of the investing, business, and policymaking communities as well as several enacted and proposed rules around the world to mandate increased disclosures.
Investors are at an increasing risk due to the lack of information disclosed by companies about their tax practices, according to this November 2018 report published by the Financial Accountability and Corporate Transparency Coalition (FACT Coalition). Titled “Muddled Markets: Investors Increasingly at Risk from Lack of Disclosures about Corporate Tax Practices,” the report finds that multinational companies have become increasingly reliant on offshore tax avoidance practices to boost short-term earnings in recent years, yet disclosure requirements haven’t kept pace with this changing world.
As governments around the globe struggle with growing budget deficits, tax authorities are increasingly cracking down on aggressive tax avoidance practices, which can have a significant impact on shareholder value. At the same time, shifting national policies around international taxation — including, but not limited to, the recent tax overhaul in the United States — create complexity and uncertainties with respect to returns for investors.
Pharmaceutical companies claim to bear their fair share of taxes, but their financial statements tell a different story.
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) radically changed the international tax system. It slashed taxes on corporate income, both domestic and foreign. It encouraged U.S. multinational corporations to shift jobs, profits, and tangible property abroad, and keep intangibles home. This report describes the new international tax system—and its many gaps—and also provides a road map for how to fix these gaps and surveys recent legislative approaches.