Credo Action

Tell the House: Crack down on tax dodgers and corruption

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Petition to the House of Representatives:

"Pass the Corporate Transparency Act and continue fighting to allow the public access to ownership records."

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    Tell the House: Crack down on tax dodgers and corruption

    Tax dodgers. Sex traffickers. Drug cartels. Terrorist organizations. Wall Street fraudsters. They all use anonymous shell companies here in the United States to hide money from authorities and get away with their crimes.1

    The 2016 Panama Papers ‒ the leak of thousands of documents from a secretive law firm ‒ blew the world of the tax-dodging elite wide open. But powerful interests fought back and preserved a status quo that allows the powerful to create shell corporations without disclosing who controls or benefits from them.

    For the first time ever, a bill cracking down on anonymous shell companies just passed out of committee in the House of Representatives. If we speak out now, we could win a major victory against tax-dodging elites and corruption.

    Tell the House: Crack down on tax dodgers and criminal kleptocrats.

    The United States is a haven for tax evasion on par with Switzerland. We are one of the few countries that does not require notice of the real, living person who is creating one of the 2,000 new corporations that appear in America every single year. The legislation in Congress would require all American corporations to disclose their "beneficial" owners – the real, living individuals who own and ultimately control a company – to the government when they are created and keep that information up to date.2

    Anonymous corporations have been used by the Iranian government to escape sanctions and purchase a New York skyscraper, by Mexican cartels to launder millions in drug money through an Oklahoma company, by the super-rich to evade taxes – and even to donate millions in untraceable money to super PACs determined to sway our elections.3

    By some estimates, elites around the world are sitting on around $21 trillion in hidden assets – escaping taxes that could be used to fund badly needed priorities here at home.4

    Even though in a perfect world, the legislation would allow the public access to the records as well, this bill would be an astonishing step forward. It has broad support in Congress ‒ but already, right-wing groups like the Koch Brothers' FreedomWorks are lining up against it. We need to strike a blow against tax-dodging elites, criminal enterprises and corrupt dictators who hide their stolen funds by pushing Congress to pass this bill immediately.

    Tell the House: Crack down on tax dodgers and criminal kleptocrats.

    Thank you for speaking out.

    References:

    1. Jeanne Whalen, "Criminals and kleptocrats will find it harder to launder money in U.S. if bill passes," The Washington Post, May 6, 2019.
    2. Ibid.
    3. Global Witness, “ANONYMOUS COMPANY OWNERS,” accessed June 13, 2019..
    4. BBC News, “Tax havens: Super-rich 'hiding' at least $21tn,” July 22, 2012.