Tags: mexico | us | tax | haven

Mexico Calls U.S. Major Tax Haven

Wednesday, 09 Sep 2009 12:55 PM

By Julie Crawshaw

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Washington's sanctimonious rhetoric about the sins of U.S. tax evaders who stash money in foreign accounts is sheer hypocrisy, Forbes magazine reports.

The reason? The U.S. allows nonresident foreign nationals to park their money in U.S. bank accounts without having to pay taxes on interest or (in most cases) report it to the Internal Revenue Service, much to the delight of American banks.

Mexico wants to change that, but the Obama administration appears to be dragging its feet.

That is odder still in light of U.S. promises to help Mexico fight drug lords, who underreport taxable income and doubtless store some of their money stateside.

The U.S. isn't on the Organisation for Economic Co-operation & Development’s black list of tax havens yet, and so far bank lobbyists have squelched proposals to make banks report on interest paid to non-resident foreign nationals with U.S. accounts.

But with the European Union getting tougher on taxes, the U.S. is becoming increasingly attractive for offshore accounts.

Finance ministers and central bankers from the Group of 20 on Saturday gave tax havens until March 2010 to cooperate on tax evasion or face sanctions, Reuters reports.

G20 leaders agreed in April to name and shame the world's tax havens in a list drafted by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and threatened sanctions for those not falling into line.

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