CaribWorldNews, ROSEAU, Dominica, Weds. Mar. 18, 2009: Dominica`s Prime Minister, Roosevelt Skerrit, says he is among a group of CARICOM leaders hoping for a review of the ‘Stop Tax Haven Abuse’ bill.
Skerritt says a sub-committee of heads of Governments of the Caribbean Community has been set up to engage United States Congress members to take another look at the bill, which has serious implications for Caribbean nations with a growing off-shore financial sector.
`Almost every single CARICOM member state has been named in this draft bill which is going before congress, and word is that this bill may be approved before the Easter holiday. We felt that this draft bill would deal a serious blow to CARICOM member states,` Skerrit stated.
President Obama`s Treasury Secretary, Timothy Geithner, recently reiterated that a new bill introduced in the House of Representatives by Rep. Lloyd Doggett had the full support of the new administration.
`Let me just start by saying that we fully support the legislation you referred to championed by your colleagues on offshore tax centers, and we look forward to working with you as part of the broader effort to address international tax evasion and close the tax gap,` Geithner told Rep. Doggett recently during testimony to the House Ways and Means Committee, headed by Congressman Charles Rangel, on whether some Americans have used secret accounts with Swiss bank UBS AG to avoid paying taxes in the United States.
Obama`s budget seeks to close the `tax gap` by tackling tax shelters and other efforts to abuse U.S. tax laws, including international tax evasion efforts and it addresses the use of offshore structures and accounts by U.S. corporations and individuals to avoid and evade U.S. taxes.
Doggett for his part told Geithner that UBS is not alone and asked that the administration `look closely at those that are coming and asking for a government bailout, like Morgan Stanley, which has 158 subsidiaries in the Cayman Islands, Citigroup with 90, and Bank of America with 59, to explain why it’s equitable for them to be able to avoid taxes at the same time they’re asking for so much tax money.`
Sen. Carl Levin, another Democrat from Michigan, introduced a corresponding bill in the Senate that would expand on legislation he co-sponsored last year with then-Senator Obama.