As bureaucrats around the world continue to demand that ordinary citizens have access to every financial decision they make, politicians and celebrities around the world are hiding huge amounts of wealth in tax havens according to the Bandura Papers. While US politicians like the Biden administration claim to be against tax corruption, some people view the United States as the “world’s major tax lake”.
The Pandora Papers expose hypocrisy among bureaucrats around the world, and US public officials succeed in escaping investigation
Over the past month, the Biden administration and other US politicians have been discussing proposed legislation aimed at tackling tax evasion by so-called billionaire class and corporate entities. One proposal aims to give the US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) access to bank account information, regardless of tax liability. If enacted, financial institutions across the country would have to report accounts worth at least $600 worth of transactions or more. Another proposal aims to introduce ‘unrealized capital gains’ known as ‘Accounting Against Deferral’.
Meanwhile, last week the latest edition of the Pandora Papers was published and the documents revealed a large number of politicians around the world are hiding wealth to get away from taxes. The papers were released by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) and claim to reveal the “inner workings of the shadow economy” for “well-connected people”. The newspapers include 2 million documents from 14 different service providers, exposing more than 330 politicians and government officials from different countries.
The Pandora Papers are twice the size of offshore accounts and the number of public officials mentioned in the Panama Papers. The links to overseas origins have arisen from celebrities as well, such as professional cricketer Sachin Tendulkar, model Claudia Schiffer, and world famous singer Shakira. Interestingly, prominent American bureaucrats have managed to get away with the findings of the investigation despite the record monetary expansion that the United States has experienced in the past two years.
A reporter asks, “Why aren’t there big American names on Pandora’s Papers?” Russian press secretary says ‘US is the main tax lake for the whole world’
A few media outlets such as NPR and Washington Post have mentioned US bureaucrats’ tax evasion and the country’s contribution to the Pandora Papers. The Washington Post (WP) soon said Americans were using the same tax evasion tactics but no public officials were named in the WP report. A scathing report from The Independent did not mention any US politicians, but the author decided to investigate why high-ranking US citizens were not added to the list in the Pandora Papers. While notable Americans have managed to escape being targeted by an ICIJ investigation, the country itself has not.
Researchers note that the United States is known to be a tax haven and that people from abroad hide money in specific regions located in the United States. Furthermore, the research found that Americans are hiding money in other countries such as Central America, but no specific names were included in the research. “The records also show how a Central American company became a one-stop shop for American customers, allowing them to hide their assets while facing criminal investigations or lawsuits,” the WP author wrote of the evidence in the Pandora Papers.
The Independent highlights that state governments in Nevada and South Dakota have become tax havens for foreign nationals. NPR said both countries have “adopted financial secrecy laws that rival those of outside jurisdictions” while Western media failed to implicate any prominent American bureaucrats, the Russian Foreign Ministry mocked the United States over the findings in the Bandura Papers. The press secretary of Russian President Vladimir Putin, Dmitry Peskov, said newspapers make American politicians look like hypocrites.
“What catches the eye is which country is the largest lake in the world. This is, of course, the United States,” Peskov told the press last week. The press secretary of the Russian President stressed that “this is not at all related to their declaration on the fight against corruption … We see that the United States It is the main tax lake for the entire world.”
Meanwhile, US politicians are trying to create a tax reform that allegedly targets corporate entities and the so-called billionaire class. However, the proposed guidelines mentioned in the “American Families Plan Tax Compliance Agenda” do not appear to target wealthy Americans. Civil rights groups and privacy advocates are concerned about notions of “unrealized capital gains” which mean that citizens will have to pay for capital gains before even selling their assets.
Additionally, IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen want banks to report deposit and withdrawal information associated with a regular American bank account. The combination of the Pandora Papers and ideas such as the proposed tax compliance agenda show that the political class of so-called public servants in the United States was hypocritical and clearly profiting at everyone else’s expense.
It turns out that while politicians around the world complain about ordinary citizens’ tax evasion, it is bureaucrats who break their own rules or exploit the legislative loopholes they created to protect their wealth.
What do you think of the Pandora Papers and why do you think the Americans were able to stay out of this investigation? Tell us what you think about it in the comments section below.
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