There is no justification for tax avoidance and evasion through offshore tax havens. Everyone needs to pay his or her fair share to keep America moving forward. Tax dodging deprives our nation of revenue needed to maintain and modernize the infrastructure and services underpinning a strong economy. An estimated $100 billion or more in tax revenue is lost every year. Our economic progress is undermined when companies are rewarded for financial manipulation rather than innovation and productive investment.
Offshore tax havens provide cover for banks, hedge funds, and corporations to shift taxable income from the United States to tax havens for the sole purpose of escaping taxation. Tax haven secrecy allows wealthy Americans to hide assets, helps companies manipulate their finances, and fosters the casino economy. Offshore tax havens reward companies and individuals who offload taxes to responsible businesses and households.
Through this campaign, we are mobilizing business people and investors who are committed to supporting a level playing field by stopping tax haven abuse. Passing strong legislation to end tax haven abuse will show we are serious about taxation that is transparent, fair, and responsible. It is an important step in ending the irresponsible speculation and financial manipulation that puts our whole economy at risk.
What's At Stake:
Although the official corporate tax rate in the United States is 35 percent, a 2010 report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) found that the largest corporations paid an effective rate of 12.6 percent that year. Some of that was due to the use of offshore tax havens.
Taxes are how we pay for all the government investments and services we all want—and taxes can be a way to reduce economic inequality and provide incentives for sustainable economic development.
But too often, the business voices that stand out to policy makers and the media are those of super-sized corporations and corporate groups that can afford an intensive echo chamber of lobbyists and PR operations who want to get government subsidies, bailouts and contracts—while paying little or no taxes. That’s why it’s vital for companies like you or your member businesses to speak out in support of better tax policies and show there is a different and better business viewpoint.
On Thursday, September 19, Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI) and three co-sponsors announced they would introduce legislation to close several offshore tax loopholes, including the practice of setting up offshore tax havens - which are often no more than a post office box - to avoid paying taxes. The "Stop Tax Haven Abuse Act" is expected to provide $220 billion in additional tax revenue over 10 years, according to the Joint Committee on Taxation. The full text of the bill can be downloaded here.