Shooting Blanks: The War on Tax Havens

July 2009
Indiana Journal of Global Legal Studies;Summer2009, Vol. 16 Issue 2, p703
Academic Journal
The United States Treasury conservatively estimates that tax havens cost the United States over $100 billion annually in lost tax revenue. In response to this epidemic, the United States and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development entered into Tax Information Exchange Agreements with states considered to be tax havens. These agreements received widespread recognition as a means of remedying this growing problem. These agreements, however, are largely symbolic and provide very few additional weapons to combat tax evasion enabled by tax havens. As evidence of this, the estimated annual loss of tax revenue due to tax havens has increased since the enactment of these agreements. This Note argues that information exchange agreements are a reactionary policy and will neither truly eliminate nor curb tax evasion through tax haven states. To effectively combat the tax haven problem, policies must be adopted that should focus on domestic solutions and should strengthen existing laws that are far too weak and underutilized.


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