Global Financial Integrity

 

Press

GFI’s Heather Lowe to Testify Friday at IRS Hearing on Proposed Country-by-Country Reporting Regulation

Christine Clough, PMP

Global Financial Integrity (GFI) Legal Counsel and Director of Government Affairs Heather Lowe will testify at the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) on Friday during a public hearing on a proposed rulemaking, “Country-by-Country Reporting” that would require companies that file tax returns in the U.S. to include a country-by-country breakdown of income earned and taxes paid. GFI, as a member of the Financial Accountability and Corporate Transparency (FACT) Coalition, has been supporting the IRS proposal as well as calling for additional language to strengthen and clarify the rulemaking, including a call for the information to be publicly available.

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Lowe’s Testimony for CBCR Hearing

Heather Lowe

RE: Testimony at Hearing May 13, 2016
on IRS REG-109822-15: Country-by-Country Reporting

Thank you for the opportunity to testify on this globally significant topic today. My name is Heather Lowe, and I am Legal Counsel and Director of Government Affairs at Global Financial Integrity, a research and advocacy organization based in Washington, DC that focuses on curtailing the movement of illicit money, with a specific focus on its effect on development and developing countries.

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New Treasury Rule on Beneficial Ownership Fails to Ensure that Beneficial Owners Are Identified

Heather Lowe, +1 202 293 0740 ext. 228
Liz Confalone, +1 202 293 0740 ext. 270

GFI Calls on Congress to Take Action to Ensure that Beneficial Owners are Actually Identified at the Time of Company Formation                 

The U.S. Departments of Treasury and Justice announced a raft of measures and proposals to address critical vulnerabilities in the U.S. financial system on May 5th, following actions taken by other countries in response to the Panama Papers disclosures. GFI welcomes the introduction of these measures after a four year process but urges Treasury and Justice to fix serious gaps in the requirements for identifying the beneficial owners of companies.

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Massive Leak of Secret Documents from Panamanian Firm Reveal Movement of Billions of Dollars in Suspect Transactions

Leaked documents from global law firm Mossack Fonseca revealed today by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) bring to light a global shadow financial system for the rich and powerful of the world for many billions of dollars worth of transactions, noted Global Financial Integrity (GFI), a Washington, DC-based research and advisory organization. More than 11.5 million documents implicate familiar names with abuse of financial secrecy, including UBS, HSBC, Société Générale, Cyprus, Switzerland, and the British Virgin Islands.

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Civil Society Calls on U.S. Treasury, IRS to Require More Transparent Corporate Tax Reporting in Proposed Rulemaking

Heather Lowe, +1 202 293 0740 ext. 228

Global Financial Integrity (GFI) and over 100 other members of the Financial Accountability and Corporate Transparency (FACT) Coalition have submitted a letter to the U.S. Department of the Treasury (Treasury) and to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) urging them to maintain and strengthen a proposed rule on Country-by-Country Reporting that would bring much needed transparency to how U.S.-based companies book profits and pay taxes in many of the countries in which they have subsidiaries. The proposed rule is meant to give the IRS and, potentially, foreign tax authorities, a window into how multinational companies may be gaming the international tax system and avoiding taxation in the U.S. and other countries. Today is the final day to submit public comments to Treasury and the IRS on the proposed rulemaking.

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Mbeki, High Level Panel on Illicit Flows from Africa Conclude Successful US Visit Mobilizing Support

Christine Clough, PMP

WASHINGTON, DC—Former President of South Africa Thabo Mbeki and members of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) High Level Panel on Illicit Financial Flows from Africa (HLP) concluded their latest visit to the United States today. Chaired by Mr. Mbeki, the group met with government representatives, civil society experts, the business community, and journalists to continue promoting the HLP’s report and urging action to curtail illicit flows in Africa.

“Illicit outflows stemming from trade misinvoicing is the most damaging economic condition in Africa today,” said GFI President Raymond Baker, a member of the High Level Panel. “This is a key point in the HLP’s report, Track It; Stop It; Get It, and an argument that GFI has been making for years in our annual estimates of illicit outflows from all developing countries.”

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Financing for development: Enabling developing countries to tackle illicit flows

Raymond Baker

Can we curtail global crime while we welcome tax evasion? In my opinion the answer to this question is a resounding “NO.” But this is what we are trying to do.

Let us be very honest with ourselves. We in the West have over the past 4 or 5 decades built a global shadow financial system designed to move tax evading and tax avoiding money across borders. I think by now all of us are familiar with its elements – tax havens, secrecy jurisdictions, disguised corporations, anonymous trust accounts, fake foundations, money laundering techniques, trade misinvoicing is the most commonly used component of this structure, and then there are holes left in the laws of our western countries that facilitate the movement of money through this shadow financial system and ultimately into our own economies.

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GFI Welcomes Introduction of Bills to Expose Anonymous Shell Companies

Christine Clough, PMP

Incorporation Transparency and Law Enforcement Assistance Act in House and Senate Would Tackle Anonymous U.S. “Phantom Firms”

In the wake of a searing segment on CBS’s 60 Minutes exposing how some New York attorneys are more than willing to create anonymous companies that foreigners may use as vehicles for laundering money in the U.S., Global Financial Integrity (GFI) welcomes the introduction by Representative Maloney and Senator Whitehouse to introduce legislation (bipartisan in the House) that would require companies to disclose the people that own or control them when these entities are formed. The two bills would bring the United States in line with international anti-money laundering (AML) standards, target individuals responsible for laundering money, and bring an end to the abuse of anonymous U.S. shell companies.

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