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The Hill: New coalition challenging corporate secrecy

April 11, 2011- A coalition of liberals and unions is launching a broadside on corporate secrecy and tax havens.

Members of the Financial Accountability and Corporate Transparency (FACT) campaign sent a letter to top lawmakers on budget, tax-writing and government affairs panels on Monday, outlining their goals.

The group is also having a Tuesday event at the National Press Club that will feature Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) and Nicholas Shaxson, the author of a book on tax havens that is getting its U.S. debut on Tuesday.

“Shell corporations, anonymous trusts and bank secrecy both in the United States and abroad make it easy for criminals, terrorists, government officials and even otherwise legitimate multinational companies to hide their money and difficult for law enforcement and tax authorities to do their jobs,” FACT wrote to lawmakers.

In the letter, the group said it would push to, among other things, mandate that information on who owns a business is readily available to the public, and to close tax loopholes. Officials on both sides of the aisle have discussed eliminating some tax deductions and credits to help lower rates in a tax reform plan.

The new coalition is emerging not long after The New York Times reported on General Electric’s ability to lower its tax bill, and CBS News’s “60 Minutes” looked into how some multinationals keep their profits overseas.



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