Pres-Elect Obama has a pet project. Well, he probably has quite a few, but this one could really impact taxpayers, especially business owners and investors. It’s called the Levin-Coleman-Obama Stop Tax Haven Abuse Act. On the surface, that sounds good. But read on if you EVER plan to live or buy or otherwise do business outside of the US.
This Act starts off by stating that there will now be a presumption of GUILT if any American owns part of or sends money to any company within one of the 34 so-called Tax Haven countries. If hope you noticed that sends money to because just wait until you read who the countries are.
Some you’d expect like the Bahamas and the Caymans. But look at the rest on the list: Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Cook Islands, Costa Rica, Cyprus, Dominica, Gibraltar, Grenada, Guernsey/Sark/ Alderney, Hong Kong, Isle of Man, Jersey, Latvia, Lichtenstein, Luxembourg, Malta, Nauru, Netherlands Antilles, Panama, Samoa ,St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Singapore ,Switzerland, Turks and Caicos, and Vanuatu.
If you make any transfer it will be presumed that the amount transferred is unreported income and you will be taxed, penalized and possibly even found guilty of fraud. It’ll be up to you prove they are wrong. (This is a very tough standard.) Banks and other financial institutes will be required to report any suspicious activity to the IRS.
Failure to follow these rules could mean 150% penalty and up to $1 million per incident in fines.
You can read the details of this Act at http://levin.senate.gov/newsroom/release.cfm?id=269479.