Wall Street tax ‘gimmicks’ investigated

An investigation by the US congress has alleged derivative ‘gimmicks’ have
been employed in helping hedge funds avoid billions of dollars in taxes.

According to a report on
the Senate permanent subcommittee on investigations says the strategies enabled
investors to avoid paying the 30% withholding tax on income by treating dividend
payments as returns on so-called equity swaps, stock loans or other derivatives

The report includes transactions made by some of the largest investment
banks, including Lehman Brothers, Morgan Stanley, Citigroup, Deutsche Bank, UBD
and Merrill Lynch.

Carl Levin, a Democrat and chairman of the subcommittee, said impacts of such
a scheme have denied the US government of billions of dollars in taxes.

‘These are gimmicks which are peddled by American financial institutions
[and] designed, concocted and peddled to deny Uncle Sam the taxes that are owed
under our law,’ he said.

Related reading