They do agree on something! Bipartisan crackdown on US ‘tax havens’ pops up in Congress

Normally bitterly opposed Democrats and Republicans have joined forces to support bills cracking down on shell companies and internal tax havens such as Delaware, dubbed the “Switzerland of the US.” Two Republicans and two Democrats on the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs joined forces on Tuesday to introduce ILLICIT CASH Act, a clever acronym for “Improving Laundering Laws and Increasing Comprehensive Information Tracking of Criminal Activity in Shell Holdings”. It aims to end the incorporation of shell companies in the US and aid in the fight against money laundering. The co-sponsors are Senators Mark Warner (D-Virginia), Doug Jones (D-Alabama), Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas), and Mike Rounds (R-South Dakota).Shell companies and their facilitation of secrecy and money laundering is often most closely associated with offshore tax havens such as the Cayman Islands and the UK’s Crown Dependencies. But the problem is hardly confined to overseas jurisdictions. Within the US itself, the state of Delaware has come under criticism for its lax rules on “shell companies,” which led to the US being dubbed “the easiest place in the world” to set one up.Experts have estimated that the federal and state governments across the US lose billions of dollars in tax revenues as a result of internal tax havens like Delaware. Last year, however, following pressure from Washington, Delaware announced that it was willing to get on board with ending the shady practices.The four senators said that their bill is intended to promote corporate transparency and strengthen the ability of law enforcement to pursue terrorists, drug traffickers and other criminal groups who are involved in shady financial activity.A similar proposal, dubbed the Corporate Transparency Act of 2019, was introduced in the House of Representatives last month. It is co-sponsored by five Democrats and one Republican.Also on Switzerland & United States are the world’s most corrupt nati ...Read more

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