TaxProf Blog

Editor: Paul L. Caron, Dean
Pepperdine University School of Law

Tuesday, August 1, 2006

Senate Holds Hearing Today on Tax Haven Abuses

Us_senate_15The Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs holds a hearing today on Tax Haven Abuses: The Enablers, The Tools & Secrecy:

The Subcommittee has held a number of hearings addressing the issue of tax havens and offshore abuses which are undermining the integrity of the federal tax system, diverting tens of billions of dollars each year from the U.S. Treasury, and undermining U.S. law enforcement. Hearings held in 2001 examined the historic and ongoing lack of cooperation by some offshore tax havens with international tax enforcement efforts and their resistance to divulging information needed to detect, stop and prosecute U.S. tax evasion. A hearing held in December 2002 and Report issued in January 2003 provided an in-depth examination of an abusive tax shelter used by Enron. Two days of hearings in November 2003, and a bipartisan report issued in 2005, provide an inside look at how some respected accounting firms, banks, investment advisors, and lawyers have become engines pushing the design, sale, and implementation of abusive tax shelters to corporations and individuals across the country.

The Subcommittee’s upcoming August 1st hearings will present case histories on the use of offshore trusts and corporations to circumvent U.S. tax, securities and anti-money laundering laws. Witnesses for the upcoming hearing will be securities firms, banks, law firms, U.S. taxpayers, a trust protector, and tax and securities experts:

Panel #1:

  • Mark Everson, Commissioner, Internal Revenue Service

Panel #2:

  • Reuven S. Avi-Yonah, Irwin I. Cohen Professor of Law, University of Michigan School of Law
  • Gary M. Brown, Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz, Nashville, TN

Panel #3:

  • Haim Saban, Saban Capital Group, Inc., Los Angeles, CA
  • Robert Wood Johnson IV, New York, NY
  • Michael C. French, Former Wyly Trust Protector, Dallas, TX

Panel #4:

  • Louis J. Schaufele III, Securities Broker, Dallas, TX
  • Jeffrey Greenstein, CEO, Quellos Group, Seattle, WA
  • Michael Conn, Bank of America, San Francisco, CA
  • George T. Wendler, HSBC Bank USA , Marlboro, NJ

Panel #5:

  • Michael G. Chatzky, Chatzky & Associates, San Diego, CA
  • Lewis R. Steinberg, Former Partner, Cravath, Swaine & Moore, New York, NY
  • John P. Barrie, Bryan Cave, Washington, D.C.
  • Charles W. Blau, Meadows, Owens, Collier, Reed, Cousins & Blau, Dallas, TX

The hearing takes place at 9:00 a.m. in the Dirksen Senate Office Building, Room 106.


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