While the U.S. maintains the highest corporate tax rate at 35 percent, a paper published earlier this month by University of Southern California law professor Edward Kleinbard, suggests many companies use a system of elaborate tax loopholes to avoid paying anywhere near that amount.
Australian officials have designed a six-nation alliance to combat multinational companies' strategies to avoid tax. China, Japan and Britain have already joined this Australian group and the United States is planning to join soon. Due to concern over potential outcry from many companies regarding the legality of the alliance, the identity of the sixth country is unknown.
The United States continued construction on what appears to be a wide net designed to catch tax evaders on Thursday by cooperating with France in the fierce global tax battle. The agreement was signed in Paris by Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici and the United States ambassador, Charles H. Rivkin.
The United States campaign against secret offshore accounts was greatly aided by a high-level Swiss adviser's guilty plea to a single count of conspiracy. On August 16, Edgar Paltzer, a Swiss lawyer formerly with the Zurich firm of Niederer, Kraft & Frey, pleaded guilty in a New York federal court. Paltzer faces up to five years plus fines. However, he is expected to receive a shorter prison sentence due to his cooperation.
The world map has never looked so odd. A service called OpenCorporates has launched a website that shows America's top six banks and their exceedingly intricate and complex organization structure to highlight the lengths to which some corporations go to minimize their tax liabilities.