Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Congressman criticizes offshore centers, fails to disclose $75K foreign income

Edith Castillo in the local media quoted a press release by Charles Rangel (D-NY) where according to the Representative, “It will be difficult to adopt the trade protection treaty with the United States until Panama decides to eliminate its 'excessive practices in banking secrecy, regulate the financial sector and require banks and multinational subsidiaries to pay their fair share of taxes'." (See also SummaNews)

Now The New York Times reports that the congressman failed to disclose US$75,000 in income earned from a villa he owns in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. An audit is also looking into how the villa purchase was financed.

Obama Cracks Down on Tax Havens

Rep. Charles Rangel, chairman of the tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee, proposed a similar measure to limit the deductions of U.S. multinationals in 2007. But Rangel, a Democrat from New York, tied his proposal to lowering the overall corporate tax rate.
On Monday, he welcomed Obama's plan.
"For too long, our tax laws have rewarded companies that invest and keep their money overseas and turned a blind eye to the use of tax havens by the wealthy," Rangel said.
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Rangel Owes U.S. Back Taxes, Lawyer Says

Published: September 9, 2008
Representative Charles B. Rangel, chairman of the Congressional committee that writes the nation’s tax code, failed to pay an unspecified amount in federal taxes during the past five years on rental income from a villa he owns in the Dominican Republic, his lawyer said on Tuesday.

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
Representative Charles B. Rangel is head of the House tax-writing committee.
Mr. Rangel, a Harlem Democrat who is chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, has owned the beachfront house at the Punta Cana resort and club since 1988, but never declared the $75,000 in rental income he has
earned either on his tax returns or on his Congressional financial disclosure form.
In a letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Representative John A. Boehner of Ohio, the minority leader, said the accumulation of ethical concerns involving Mr. Rangel had grown to a point where he “cannot effectively carry out his duties as chairman.”
“You, as the speaker of the House, must insist that Representative Rangel step down from his Ways and Means chairmanship pending an investigation of his ethical lapses,” Mr. Boehner said.

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