Paul Won't Budge On Blocking Tax Treaties
Send a link to a friend
[June 05, 2014]
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Republican
Senator Rand Paul on Wednesday again blocked the U.S. Senate from moving
toward ratifying five pending tax treaties, saying they would make it
easier for foreign governments to invade the privacy of Americans.
The Kentucky libertarian, defying business interests that favor
the agreements, cited concerns the treaties would allow more
inter-government sharing of financial information on citizens.
The United States has tax treaties with more than 60 countries,
ranging from China to Kyrgyzstan. Their main purpose is to prevent
double-taxation of corporate profits.
No new tax treaties or treaty updates have been approved by the
Senate since 2010, when Paul was first elected on a wave of support
from supporters of the Tea Party movement. Before Paul's election,
tax treaties were routinely approved by the Senate.
Under the new treaties, foreign governments intent on combating tax
avoidance could too easily access Americans' personal tax
information, Paul said.
"We can't forget about the innocent Americans who are not breaking
the law and do have a right to privacy," Paul said, adding that he
wants the treaties rewritten to eliminate information-sharing
Under Senate rules, one senator can place a "hold" on a motion for a
vote, preventing it from reaching the Senate floor.
Earlier this year, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee approved
the five tax treaties with Chile, Hungary, Switzerland, Luxembourg
and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.
Senate approval is needed for them to take effect.
[to top of second column]
Business lobbyists said on Wednesday that Senate Democrats likely
would continue to bring up the tax treaties for debate to draw
attention to Paul's objections.
In debate on the Senate floor, Democratic Senator Benjamin Cardin
said food-maker McCormick & Co Inc has been hurt by the Senate's
inaction on the treaties.
(Reporting by Patrick Temple-West; Editing by Kevin Drawbaugh and
[© 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights
Copyright 2014 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published,
broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.