Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Drucker's Article on Panama and U.S. as Tax Havens and Failure to Adopt CRS

Jesse Drucker is one of my favorite reporters on the international finance scene and often writes on tax issues.  His latest is Source: Panama Has Company as Bank-Secrecy Holdout, as U.S. Offers Haven (Bloomberg 4/5/16), here

The teaser opening:
Panama and the U.S. have at least one thing in common: Neither has agreed to new international standards to make it harder for tax evaders and money launderers to hide their money. 
Over the past several years, amid increased scrutiny by journalists, regulators and law enforcers, the global tax-haven landscape has shifted. In an effort to catch tax dodgers, almost 100 countries and other jurisdictions have agreed since 2014 to impose new disclosure requirements for bank accounts, trusts and some other investments held by international customers -- standards issued by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, a government-funded international policy group. 
Places like Switzerland and Bermuda are agreeing, at least in principle, to share bank account information with tax authorities in other countries. Only a handful of nations have declined to sign on. The most prominent is the U.S. Another, Panama, is at the center of a storm over tax evasion and global cash flight that broke out over the weekend.
The article then goes on to discuss the state of global disclosure, calling out the U.S. for not entering the Common Reporting Standard ("CRS") promoted by the OECD.  The Commissioner of the IRS has called for the U.S. to adopt CRS.  See Commissioner Koskinen Calls On Congress to Adopt Common Reporting Standard (Federal Tax Crimes Blog 3/15/16), here.

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