Global Financial Integrity

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After an Historic Election, What a Barack Obama Presidency Might Mean for Tax Havens

Monique Perry Danziger, +1 202 293 0740 ext. 222

WASHINGTON, DC – As a Senator, President-Elect Barack Obama co-signed legislation that would crack-down on tax evasion and the abuse of tax havens, as a Presidential candidate he reiterated his commitment to tackling tax evasion.

While there is no crystal ball for predicting the next four years of the Obama-Biden administration, an examination of Obama’s Senatorial record provides a strong indication that tax havens and tax evasion will be on the Presidential agenda.

As a Senator, President-Elect Obama co-sponsored two pieces of legislation that would curtail money laundering and tax evasion.

One of these the Stop Tax Haven Abuse Act, would, among other things, authorize the U.S. Treasury Department to issue sanctions against offshore secrecy jurisdictions if they are found to impede collection of U.S. taxes.  Supporters believe this bill would help the U.S. collect the estimated tens of billions of dollars in tax revenue lost each year due to the use of shady offshore schemes.

In debate over economic policy, U.S. Presidential hopeful Barack Obama has pledged to introduce a stimulus package to help Americans struggling with current economic conditions, on top of “a middle-class tax cut that will provide $1,000 of relief to 95 percent of workers and their families,” funded by closing down “corporate loopholes and tax havens.”

In official Obama campaign materials the president-Elect has stated his intention to provide the Treasury Department with the tools it needs to stop the abuse of tax shelters and offshore tax havens and help close the $350 billion tax gap between taxes owed and taxes paid.