While Congress attempts to get back roughly $170 million in bonuses paid to executives at American International Group (AIG), AIG is suing the U.S. government (its largest shareholder) for $306 million in tax payments. Between bailouts, bonuses, and tax refunds, it is getting difficult to tell how has what amount of the public fisc.
AIG wants the government to return of $306 million in tax payments including some tied to its offshore tax havensin the Cayman Islands, Ireland, the Dutch Antilles and other offshore havens. AIG had a reputation for fighting aggressively to prevent having to pay taxes to the country that ultimately bailed it out of its disaster. Presumably, some of the public bailout money is now being used to sue the government for past taxes.
As for the bonuses, the legislation has passed the house. I remain skeptical as I discussed on ABC News last night. While it is true that the court defer greatly to Congress on taxes, the intent to punish these executives was hardly hidden by the sponsors. I was lead counsel in the last successful bill of attainder case (Foretich v. United States in 2003) and I believe that there is considerable merit to a challenge to such a law. To that extent, as Steve Chapman discussed today in his column, I disagree with professors who insist that just framing it as a tax is sufficient to pass judicial review.
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47 thoughts on “After Using Federal Bailout Money To Award Massive Bonuses, AIG Is Now Using Public Funds to Sue the Government To Get Back $306 millions in Tax Payments Tied to Offshore Tax Havens”
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Billions of dollars!
Offshore Bank Accounts Revealed To IRS By 14,700 Taxpayers
MIAMI (AP)– More than 14,700 U.S. taxpayers came forward to disclose billions in offshore bank accounts in 70 countries under a voluntary Internal Revenue Service program allowing most to avoid criminal prosecution as long as they pay what they owe, IRS officials said Tuesday.
A flood of people came forward in the last days before the amnesty program expired Oct. 15, IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman said. The final total far surpasses the number who disclose offshore accounts in a typical year — about 100 — and comes amid a broad U.S. crackdown on international tax evasion at Swiss bank UBS AG and other institutions.
“To put it simply, this is a historic milestone for the nation’s hardworking taxpayers,” Shulman said in a conference call from Washington.
The total in taxes, interest and penalties collected from those in the voluntary disclosure program will be in the “billions of dollars,” Shulman said. The disclosures involved accounts on every continent but Antarctica
On the Bill of Attainder front, ACORN has just filed suit in Brooklyn NY Federal District Court to challenge Congress. It charges that legislation cutting off its funds was a Bill of Attainder.
Traditionally, a Bill of Attainder is a 1) legislative act that 2) intentionally inflicts punishment on a 3) named individual, or individuals so narrowly described as to be effectively named.
ACORN was certainly singled out by name. There seems to have been a lot of intent to punish it for bad behavior, although there was an arguable legislative effort to prevent fraud by a recipient of federal funds. On the other hand, the traditional use of such a Bill was to inflict punishment on natural persons rather than corporations or business associations. ACORN would argue that the clause applies to both to persons and to groups of persons who are vulnerable to nonjudicial determinations of guilt.
“I’d call that an indictment of the system worthy of consideration by the Grand Jury of public opinion.”
Well, issues not withstanding, it appears the “grand jury of public opinion” is indicting ham sandwiches left and right lately.
Wow, yikes,… great song!
”People who succeed in corporate America are risk takers,” said Anthony Barkow, a former federal prosecutor and Harvard Law School graduate who is now a New York University Law School professor. “They’re smart, confident and sometimes even arrogant. That’s what it takes to succeed. Risk takers get closer to the line and sometimes cross it.”
I’d call that an indictment of the system worthy of consideration by the Grand Jury of public opinion.
Here’s a little video providing supplemental musical proof from Matthew Grimm:
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