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American Dream Betrayed

U.S. Surpasses Cayman Islands To Become Second-Largest Tax Haven On Earth

The United States is now the second-largest tax haven on the planet, according to an updated international index.

The Tax Justice Network found that the U.S. has surpassed the Cayman Islands as the No. 2 place where corporations can easily stash their money to avoid tax liabilities. Switzerland retained its top place on the list.

"Financial secrecy provided by the U.S. has caused untold harm to the ordinary citizens of foreign countries, whose elites have used the United States as a bolt-hole for looted wealth," wrote the group in its Financial Secrecy Index.

"This is not a ranking in which the U.S. wants to be number one or even number two," said Gary Kalman, executive director of the FACT Coalition, which advocates for policies to combat criminal activity in the financial system. "We have one of the strongest economies and one of the most secret. It's a perfect recipe for attracting the proceeds of crime, corruption, and tax evasion. Internationally, this secrecy facilitates corruption that drains wealth from developing countries."

offshoreshellgames.pngOffshore Shell Games

The Index reports that shadowy shell companies in the U.S. were used to divert millions of dollars in international aid intended to improve the safety of former Soviet nuclear plants. Delaware, Wyoming and Nevada were named as states with a multitude of "shell" companies, which allow hidden owners to store and launder money gathered via criminal activity.

"The opioid crisis and human trafficking are both on the rise with the help of anonymous shell companies to launder the proceeds," said Kalman.

"Almost two million corporations and limited liability companies (LLCs) are formed in U.S. states each year, many by foreigners, without the states ever asking for the identity of the ultimate beneficial owners," according to the report.

The U.S. now holds about 22 percent of the global market in offshore financial services, up from 14 percent in 2015, the last time the Index was updated.

The report notes that the U.S. government has been vigilant in protecting itself against citizens who might evade taxes by disguising as foreigners, while "preserving the U.S. as a secrecy jurisdiction for foreigners."

"This report is the latest evidence that policymakers should move forward with sensible measures to end the abuse of anonymous shell companies, increase transparency around where multinational companies pay taxes, and engage constructively in international financial transparency initiatives," Kalman said.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License.

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Previously in tax scammage:

* Deepwater Horizon Settlement Comes With $5.35 Billion Tax Windfall.

* Offshoring By 29 Companies Costs Illinois $1.2 Billion Annually.

* Government Agencies Allow Corporations To Write Off Billions In Federal Settlements.

* The Gang Of 62 Vs. The World.

* How The Maker Of TurboTax Fought Free, Simple Tax Filing.

* $1.4 Trillion: Oxfam Exposes The Great Offshore Tax Scam Of U.S. Companies.

* How Barclay's Turned A $10 Billion Profit Into A Tax Loss.

* Wall Street Stock Loans Drain $1 Billion A Year From German Taxpayers.

* German Finance Minister Cries Foul Over Tax Avoidance Deals.

* Prosecutor Targets Commerzbank For Deals That Dodge German Taxes.

* A Schlupfloch Here, A Schlupfloch There. Now It's Real Money.

* How Milwaukee Landlords Avoid Taxes.

* Study: 32 Illinois Fortune 500 Companies Holding At Least $147 Billion Offshore.

* Watch Out For The Coming Tax Break Trickery.

* When A 'Tax Bonanza' Is Actually A Huge Corporate Tax Break.

* The Hypocrisy Of Corporate Welfare: It's Bigger Than Trump.

* Oxfam Names World's Worst Tax Havens Fueling 'Global Race To Bottom.'

* Offshore Tax Havens Cost Average Illinois Small Business $5,789 A Year.

* State Tax Incentives To Corporations Don't Work.

* GOP Tax Plan Would Give 15 Of America's Largest Corporations A $236 Billion Tax Cut.

* Triumph Of The Oligarchs.

* Amazon Short-List Proves Something "Deeply Wrong" With America's Race-To-The-Bottom Economy.

* Apple's $38 Billion Tax Payment Less Than Half Of $79 Billion They Owe.

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Previously in carried interest, aka The Billionaire's Loophole:

* Patriotic Millionaires Vs. Carried Interest.

* The Somewhat Surreal Politics Of A Private Equity Tax Loophole Costing Us Billions (That Obama Refused To Close Despite Pledging To Do So).

* Fact-Checking Trump & Clinton On The Billionaire's Tax Break.

* Despite Trump Campaign Promise, Billionaires' Tax Loophole Survives Again.

* Carried Interest Reform Is a Sham.

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Previously in The Paradise Papers:

* 'Paradise Papers' Reveal Tax Avoidance, Shady Dealings Of World's Rich And Powerful.

* Just How Much Money Is Held Offshore? Hint: A SHIT-TON.

* Development Dreams Lost In The Offshore World.

* Keeping Offshore 'Hush Hush,' But Why?

* Tax Havens Are Alive With The Sound Of Music.

* Today In Tax Avoidance Of The Ultra-Wealthy.

* Go To Town With This Offshore Leaks Database.

* The Paradise Papers: The View From Africa And Asia.

* The Paradise Papers: The End Of Elusion For PokerStars.

* The Paradise Papers: An Odd Call From The Bermuda Government.

* The Paradise Papers: Nevis Is An Offshore Haven Of Opportunity

* The Paradise Papers: The Long Twilight Struggle Against Offshore Secrecy.

* The Paradise Papers: A Fair Tax System Will Be Lost Without Public Pressure.

* Item: Today In The Paradise Papers: Through Death Threats And Scare Tactics, Honduran Reporter 'Perseveres.'

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Previously in The Panama Papers:

* The Panama Papers: Remarkable Global Media Collaboration Cracks Walls Of Offshore Tax Haven Secrecy.

* The Panama Papers: Prosecutors Open Probes.

* The [Monday] Papers.

* Adventures In Tax Avoidance.

* Mossack Fonseca's Oligarchs, Dictators And Corrupt White-Collar Businessmen.

* Jonathan Pie, TV Reporter! They're All In It Together.

* Meet The Panama Papers Editor Who Handled 376 Reporters In 80 Countries.

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Comments welcome.



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Posted on February 9, 2018


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