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Amendment Passes to Crack Down on Offshore Tax Cheats

For Immediate Release

Statement of U.S. PIRG Tax and Budget Associate Dan Smith on the passage of the Senate Amendment 1818, introduced by Senators Levin, Conrad, and Whitehouse to the Transportation Bill.

“We applaud the U.S. Senate for approving the amendment to the Transportation bill introduced by Senators Carl Levin and Kent Conrad that would crack down on offshore tax cheats. Our elected leaders have taken the first step toward reining in rampant offshore tax dodging.

“This amendment would give law enforcement officials important tools to stop foreign financial institutions in places like the Cayman Islands from aiding U.S. tax cheats. The $900 million this provision would raise over the next ten years can be put to good use funding public priorities like public transportation or reducing the deficit.

“The next step for Congress to take is to close the offshore tax loopholes that allow at least 83 of the top 100 publically traded U.S. companies to skirt taxes by shifting profits legitimately made in this country to offshore tax havens like the Cayman Islands. Offshore tax havens are estimated to cost taxpayers $100 billion a year, according to the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations.

“When corporations don’t pay, responsible taxpayers and small businesses are forced to pick up the tab in the form of higher taxes, fewer services, or more debt.

“Congress should rein in tax dodgers by passing Senators Levin and Kent Conrad’s Cut Unjustified Tax Loopholes Act, which would save taxpayers an estimated $155 billion and go a long way in making sure corporations play by the same rules as ordinary taxpayers.”

Click here for a summary of the amendment.

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