[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - US Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Al Franken (D-MN) introduced legislation today that would require Members of Congress and candidates for federal office to include in their financial disclosure filing an accounting of any financial interest in a country that is considered a tax haven. The bill would also apply to federal employees who are required to file financial disclosures and the spouses of Members of Congress or candidates.
“Any individual who has or wants to have the public’s trust should be honest about whether or not they have engaged in practices that cost the taxpayers they wish to represent billions of dollars every year,” Durbin said. “That’s why I’m introducing a bill to require candidates for Federal office and high-level federal employees to disclose any financial interest they or their spouse hold that is based in an offshore tax haven. This information will help restore the American people’s trust in government and ensure that government leaders aren’t skirting our laws.”
“Americans deserve transparency from public officials,” Franken said. “The legislation I’m introducing will make sure that people know exactly where candidates, elected officials, and top federal employees’ financial interests lie and end concerns over whether they are paying their taxes and following the rules like every other American.
The Financial Disclosure to Reduce Tax Haven Abuse Act would change federal law and require Members of Congress, candidates for federal office and high-level federal employees to list the identity, category of value and location of any financial interest in a jurisdiction considered to be a tax haven by the Secretary of the Treasury. The legislation would also require the Secretary of the Treasury to provide a list of those countries to filers and to consider for inclusion on that list any jurisdiction which has been publically identified by the Internal Revenue Service as a secrecy jurisdiction.
Offshore tax havens and similar tax loopholes cost taxpayers $100 billion a year.