Obama calls on Congress to pass legislation to curb tax evasion

Washington, May 7 (IANS) US President Barack Obama on Friday called on Congress to pass legislation that would help law enforcement crack down on tax evasion.

“I am calling on Congress to pass new legislation that requires all companies formed inside the US to report information about their real owners to the Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network,” Xinhua news agency quoted Obama as saying at the White House.

He said Congress should also provide the Justice Department with additional tools to investigate corruption and money launderers.

“Only Congress can fully close the loopholes that wealthy individuals and powerful corporations all too often take advantage of at the expense of middle-class families,” said the president.

Obama said his administration has taken several steps to crack down on offshore tax evasion, such as requiring financial institutions to verify and report “who the real people are behind shelf corporations that set up accounts at those institutions”.

“We are not going to be able to complete this job unless Congress acts as well,” said Obama.

In a letter to congressional leaders on Thursday, US Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew also urged Congress to pass legislation to increase financial transparency and combat money laundering, corruption and tax evasion.

–IANS

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