Daily Tax Update - March 8, 2012: Senate Approves Levin’s Tax Haven Amendment

SENATE APPROVES LEVIN’S TAX HAVENS AMENDMENT:  Today, the Senate adopted (by voice vote) an amendment to the surface transportation bill (S. 1813) adding a provision prohibiting or imposing conditions on certain transactions of jurisdictions or financial institution determining to be "of primary money laundering concern" or "significantly impeding United States tax enforcement."  The provision is similar to one proposed in Sen. Carl Levin’s "Stop Tax Havens Abuse Act" bill, but revised to provide that whether a jurisdiction or financial institution is cooperating with the United States on implementing FATCA is a factor that may be used in evaluating whether it is significantly impeding tax enforcement.

  • Today on the Senate floor, Levin said, "Each year the United States loses literally tens of billions of dollars from people using offshore tax havens to dodge their tax obligations."
  • The tax title as reported by the Finance Committee, which includes the anti-reverse Morris Trust provision, was agreed to by unanimous consent.  Numerous other amendments are pending and the Senate is expected to complete work on the bill next week.
  • Today, House Speaker John Boehner said, "As I told the members yesterday, the current plan is to see what the Senate can produce and to bring their bill up.  In the meantime, we’re going to continue to have conversations with our members about a longer-term approach, which frankly most of our members want.  But at this point in time, the plan is to bring up the Senate bill — or something like it."
  • Levin’s amendment can be accessed here.
  • The Senate Finance report on the tax provisions in the bill can be accessed here.

MISCELLANEOUS GUIDANCE RELEASED:

Notice 2012-25 invites the public to submit recommendations for items that should be included on the 2012-2013 Guidance Priority List.

INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE - CIRCULAR 230 DISCLOSURE:
As provided for in Treasury regulations, advice (if any) relating to federal taxes that is contained in this communication (including attachments) is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, for the purpose of (1) avoiding penalties under the Internal Revenue Code or (2) promoting, marketing or recommending to another party any plan or arrangement addressed herein.

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