Panama Papers and US Initiatives to Identify Beneficial Owners


In early April 2016 files leaked from a large Panama-based law firm (known as the ‘Panama Papers’) brought to the attention of many the ways in which offshore companies and structures can be used to obscure the identity of beneficial owners, some of whom have used such entities to avoid paying tax in their country of tax residence. Now the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and US financial institutions will begin gathering information identifying beneficial owners of certain entities in response to the heightened awareness of abuse resulting from the disclosure of the Panama Papers.

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