Just the FACTs: April 19, 2018

In January, we were optimistic that this would be the year anonymous companies would end.  Since then, the momentum for disclosure has only grown. Legal scholars and international affairs experts have recently called for action, a recent poll showed overwhelming support from small businesses, and a report from Fair Share reminded us that anonymous companies are continuing to fuel the opioid epidemic.  Between these and a recent investigation by Reuters that found Russians are using a web of anonymous companies to skirt U.S. sanctions and boost the government of Syria’s Bashar al-Assad, Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, and the Hezbollah militia, the arguments for secrecy are becoming more and more invalid.


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?


Key Takeaways from John Oliver’s Segment on Corporate Tax Avoidance

By Richard Phillips

The HBO television show Last Week Tonight with John Oliver has become known for its longer segments that examine important issues facing the country. In its latest segment on Sunday, the show took a deep dive into corporate taxes and how many companies manage to avoid paying their fair share. Between its hilarious interludes, the segment painted a striking portrait of problems in our corporate tax code and how the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) failed to address them. Here are some key points.


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.


New Legislation Would End Tax Incentives to Move Jobs and Profits Offshore

By Richard Phillips

New legislation introduced today, the No Tax Breaks for Outsourcing Act, by Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-TX) and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) would help repair the damage to the international tax code wrought by the new tax law and move toward a system where U.S. corporations can’t reap tax benefits from shifting jobs and profits offshore.

One of the biggest problems with the United States tax code is that it encourages multinational corporations to artificially shift their profits offshore, or even shift real investments and jobs offshore, to avoid paying taxes. A real tax reform would have put an end to tax avoidance and the tax incentives for offshoring, but the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) made both of these problems worse.


New Bill Removes Tax Incentives to Move Jobs, Profits Offshore

“No Tax Breaks for Outsourcing Act” Would Close Loopholes in Tax Code that Encourage Offshore Tax Avoidance

WASHINGTON, D.C. – New legislation introduced Tuesday would equalize the tax rates for domestic businesses and multinational corporations — reducing the tax incentives to shift jobs and profits overseas that were enacted under the recent tax overhaul, according to the Financial Accountability and Corporate Transparency (FACT) Coalition.


How the U.S. Became a Top Secrecy Jurisdiction

By Richard Phillips

Sometimes, ranking near No. 1 in the world is not a badge of pride. According to the Financial Secrecy Index released by the Tax Justice Network (TJN), the United States is the second largest contributor to financial secrecy in the world, placing it in the company of infamous tax havens such as Switzerland (ranked No. 1) and the Cayman Islands (ranked No. 3). Financial secrecy is enabling people to hide income from the authorities to evade taxes or financial regulation, launder profits from crime, finance terrorism, or otherwise break the law.

As the new TJN report explains, the United States contributes more to financial secrecy in the world than any country other than Switzerland for two reasons. First, this country has the largest share (22.3 percent) of the global market for offshore financial services. Second, several U.S. states promote financial secrecy by allowing individuals to form corporations without providing any real identifying information. In some states, people who want a library card must provide more identifying information than those who want to incorporate. The result is a huge amount of money held in shell companies in the United States that cannot be traced to any individual anywhere in the world.


Briefing Memo: Ending Offshore Tax Avoidance

There is widespread agreement, across the political spectrum, that the gaming of the tax code by multinational corporations is a problem. When profits and jobs are shipped offshore, we not only harm the U.S. economy, we fuel a tax haven industry that drains wealth around the world.

The tax system under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act includes loopholes and incentives to shift money and jobs overseas.