Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., is the last stand against the U.S. Justice Department rooting out thousands of potential tax evaders with money tucked away in Swiss banks.
For years, Paul has opposed a Swiss tax treaty that would allow U.S. law enforcement to catch Americans who evade billion in taxes, Politico reported.
Paul argues that it’s a matter of privacy.
“These are people that are alleged, not convicted of doing anything wrong,” Paul said several weeks ago. “I don’t think you should have everybody’s information from their bank. There should be some process: accusations and proof that you’ve committed a crime.”
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The Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations released a report Wednesday rebuking the Department of Justice for not using all the “tools in the toolbox” to stop tax evasion.
Swiss bank Credit Suisse was blasted by a bipartisan Senate panel last week when it refused to hand over more than 230 names of Americans with offshore accounts. The committee says those names are just 1 percent of the 22,000 who hid $10 billion in the second-biggest Swiss bank.
The new treaty would allow Swiss account information that may be “relevant” to an investigation to be handed over to authorities. A senior Paul aide called this “a little scary and opposed to Fourth Amendment mentality.”
"If people are breaking the law, they should be punished, but we can’t capitulate on Americans’ privacy rights in order to handle this one issue at this one moment in time," Paul’s aide told Politico.
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“He’s concerned about protecting tax evaders? I don’t quite understand that,” said Catherine Schultz, vice president of tax policy for the National Foreign Trade Council.