Congressman Lloyd Doggett of Texas has been introducing bills to eliminate tax loopholes and ensure better tax enforcement for decades. When I first became an associate at Cleary, Gottlieb in New York, I remember reading about his effort to clamp down on tax shelters.
Finally, he is likely to find a more responsive Congress. While his full "Stop Tax Haven Abuse" Act may not be passed, it is quite likely that some of the provisions will make it into law. I've dealt with this in two earlier postings this year: Tax Havens: legislation in sight?, Mar. 12, 2009 (extensive discussion of proposed legislation by Carl Levin in the Senate and Lloyd Doggett in the House), and Congresspeople Seek Budget Consideration of Large Corporations' Use of Offshore Tax Havens to Avoid US Taxes, Feb. 20, 2009.
Today, a Ways and Means Select Revenue Measures Subcommittee hearing questions Treasury officials and tax experts on banking secrecy practices. Doggett's questioning of Reuven Avi-Yonah, Michigan tax prof, is available on video at this link. In other parts of the hearing, IRS Commmissioner douglas Shulman asked Congress to extend the statute of limitations for offshore tax liabilities from the current three years to six years, to enable the Service to better enforce the law.