As part of the confirmation process, Senator Carl Levin has questioned Timothy Geithner, nominated to be Secretary of the Department of Treasury about his intentions. The exchange has been published. A key exchange is as follows:
Q. (Levin) The United States loses an estimated $100 billion each year from offshore tax abuses.
a. What priority would you place on tackling the problem of offshore tax abuses?
b. If confirmed, would you support the Levin-Coleman-Obama Stop Tax Haven Abuse Act to shut down offshore tax abuses?
A. (Geithner) I share the President-Elect's commitment to aggressively address the problem of offshore tax abuses and complement you and your staff on the excellent work that they have done to highlight the problem. If confirmed, this issue will be a high priority for the Treasury Department.
The President-Elect is committed to shutting down offshore tax schemes and, as you know, cited your legislation as evidence of steps that he would like to take to accomplish this goal.
If confirmed, I will treat the offshore tax abuse issue as a high priority and will examine a wide range of policy options to address offshore tax abuses, including increasing IRS enforcement authority, requiring greater disclosure and taxpayer accountability, changing the presumption for transactions in tax-secrecy jurisdictions and other ideas included in your legislation.
You have been warned.