Country-by-Country Reporting

Comments to SEC in Support of Legal Entity Identifier (LEI) Requirements

The FACT Coalition filed a comment on January 2, 2018 with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) supporting the agency’s proposal to mandate the disclosure of Legal Entity Identifier (LEI) numbers by public companies and their subsidiaries.  The Coalition also urged requiring all public companies to obtain LEIs, ensuring that the LEIs are disclosed in a machine-readable format, and mandating that companies disclose all of their subsidiaries in their disclosures, rather than simply their “significant” subsidiaries.

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Letter to Reps. Hensarling and Waters Opposing H.R.4519

The Financial Accountability and Corporate Transparency Coalition (FACT Coalition) sent a letter to House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling and Ranking Member Maxine Waters in opposition to H.R.4519, which would repeal the bipartisan Cardin-Lugar anti-corruption provision (Section 1504) of the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010.

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FACT Sheet: Public Country-by-Country Reporting

Boosting Tax Transparency to Guard Investors, Protect Taxpayers, and Inform Policymakers

Disclosing more information on where companies book profits, record revenues, and pay taxes would protect taxpayers by discouraging abusive tax avoidance schemes; protect shareholders by providing them with information about the risks associated with their investments; and inform policymakers as Congress considers overhauling the U.S. tax code.

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EU to Vote on Public Tax Disclosure

By Jacob Wills

In a post Panama Papers world, secrecy seems to be losing its caché.   Public officials and the citizens they represent express increasing frustration with the hidden finances of powerful multinational companies and the ultra-wealthy.

In recent months, tax enforcement in the European Union (EU) has been stepped up with cases accusing tax haven countries of providing illegal state aid, aggressive tax avoidance strategies are being challenged and there is a promising push for greater financial transparency and accountability.

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FACT Sheet: Stop Tax Haven Abuse Act of 2017

Tax haven abuse undermines the fairness of our tax code. By shifting profits to offshore tax havens, multinational corporations avoid over $100 billion in taxes each year. Wealthy individuals evade an estimated $40 to $70 billion. The Stop Tax Haven Abuse Act of 2017 (S. 851/H.R. 1932) will close many of the loopholes that allow multinational companies and the wealthy to play by a different set of rules than the rest of us.

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Our Visit to a Little Known, but Highly Influential Body

By Gary Kalman

Financial Accounting Standards Board Considers Shining a Light on Corporate Tax Practices

On March 17, Richard Phillips of the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP) and I traveled to Norwalk, Connecticut to participate in a roundtable discussion at the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB). This is a little-known, but highly influential body that sets the accounting standards for U.S. companies. The morning discussion focused on a proposal to increase disclosures on corporate financial statements, including new disclosures on revenues and taxes on a country-by-country level. This information is critically important if we are to tackle the problem of offshoring profits in tax havens.

We heard several participants assert that, before any new disclosures are required, board members must ensure they know why it is being required and for what the users of the information will use it.  Fair questions.

Unfortunately, I am not sure the discussion on tax disclosures adequately answered them.  The focus was more theoretical and principle-based with a heavy reliance on accountant-speak.  I greatly appreciated the opportunity to participate, but I confess that I did not fully take the opportunity to offer an alternative perspective.  Since hindsight is 20/20, here is what I should have said.

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House Attempts to Repeal Bipartisan Anti-Corruption Safeguard in Controversial Move

By Clark Gascoigne

Rolling Back Extractives Transparency Measure Could Hamper National Security

Lawmakers in the House of Representatives are expected to introduce a controversial resolution to repeal a bipartisan anti-corruption safeguard, in a move panned by non-partisan anti-corruption experts.

Former Sen. Richard Lugar (R-IN) and Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD) sponsored the Energy Security Through Transparency Act, as an amendment to the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010. The provision protects U.S. national security and combats corruption in developing countries (particularly those plagued by extremist violence and conflict) by requiring oil, gas, and mining companies which report to the Securities and Exchange Commission to publicly report all payments made to host-governments.

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