September 9, 2011
Monique Perry Danziger, +1 202 293 0740 ext. 222
Reforms Will Discourage Abusive Offshore Tax Haven Schemes, Says Global Financial Integrity
WASHINGTON, DC – Proponents of tax fairness and financial accountability applauded the news yesterday of the Senate’s passage of patent-reform legislation containing a provision to eliminate tax strategy patents.
“The ability to patent tax strategies enabled tax practitioners to require U.S. citizens to pay those practitioners in order to benefit from U.S. tax laws. Tax laws apply to everybody equally, and these patents were forcing citizens to pay for access to something that was already their right under the law,” said Heather Lowe, Legal Counsel and Director of Government Affairs at Global Financial Integrity. “Many of these patented tax schemes involved the use of offshore accounts in tax havens and may have skirted the line between legal tax avoidance and illegal tax evasion.”
The legislation will now go to President Obama for his signature.
“Allowing patents on tax strategies gave tax practitioners legal protection for schemes which may have complied with the letter of our tax laws while they simultaneously violated the spirit of those laws,” said Ms. Lowe. “This is a positive development for transparency and accountability and takes us a big step closer to closing the $345 billion U.S. tax gap.”
Global Financial Integrity (GFI) is a Washington, DC-based research and advocacy organization which promotes transparency in the international financial system.
For additional information please visit www.gfip.org.