April 4, 2016 – So far, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) has only been able to identify 211 people with U.S. addresses who own companies in the data (not all of whom been able to investigate yet). We don’t know if those 211 people are necessarily U.S. citizens. And that figure covers only data from recent years available on a Mossack Fonseca internal database — not all 11.5 million files from the leak.
In other words, that 211 number comes from just a small sliver of the data. “It’s a complete underestimate,” says Mar Cabra, head of the data and research unit at the ICIJ.
Finding a precise number of Americans in the data is difficult.
Not surprisingly, though, a lot of people are asking: If this is the biggest data leak in history – and our biggest window ever onto the offshore world – where are all the Americans? After all, an estimated $150 billion in potential U.S. tax revenues disappears into offshore tax schemes each year, according to a 2014 Senate subcommittee report.
Why aren’t we seeing more Americans in the files?
“What should be one of the more shocking aspects of the documents is that Mossack Fonseca had a subsidiary to create American offshore corporations in Nevada, Americans can form shell companies right in Wyoming, Delaware or Nevada. They have no need to go to Panama to form a shell company to use for illicit activities.” according to Jack Blum, a Washington lawyer and expert in offshore activities.
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The Panama papers is alarming for the entire world, including citizens and policy makers in the U.S. It is also relevant because it should make Americans look internally to see what kinds of corporate illegalities we are allowing within our own borders.
What’s happened is that they [Americans] discovered that they really don’t need to go to Panama. Delaware has trusts. Forty-nine states now offer LLCs… Basically, we have an onshore haven industry in the US that is as secretive as anywhere.
“One of the forms of companies that’s even more secret than, say, a British Virgin Islands company is a company incorporated in almost any U.S. state. If you form a British Virgin Islands company you have to declare who you are to the person forming the company for you; if you form in Nevada, for example, you don’t… So Nevada is great because it’s much more secret than the British Virgin Islands.” said Jason Sharman, co-author of Global Shell Games: Experiments in Transnational Relations, Crime, and Terrorism.
According to James Henry, a economist and senior advisor to the Tax Justice Network, “The big thing we should be concerned about is, there is onshore haven behavior in the United States, and it is undermining our own tax compliance and tax citizenship.”
“I mean, if ordinary people are the only ones paying taxes, then you’ll have a tax revolt on your hands…We depend for our tax system and for our democracy on ordinary people paying their taxes. If they go on strike, it’s going to be a serious problem. It’s nothing less than our democratic process at stake.” he said.
What is a LLC?
An LLC is not a corporation; it is a legal form of a company that provides limited liability to its owners in many jurisdictions. LLCs do not need to be organized for profit.
In certain U.S. states (for example, Texas), businesses that provide professional services requiring a state professional license, such as legal or medical services, may not be allowed to form an LLC but may be required to form a very similar entity called a professional limited liability company (PLLC)
One website in Wyoming has posted :
Wyoming LLC’s: Why Wyoming is the Switzerland of the USA. There still is a place in the United States where privacy is preserved. Where income taxes don’t exist, and where people are allowed to live free on their own land, without unrelenting government intervention and annoyance.
The way America was started and meant to be, before endless bureaucratic red tape, government interference, and frivolous lawsuits.
Wyoming has always been a pro business state. They were actually the pioneers of the LLC – when they combined a partnership and a corporation to create a hybrid legal entity in the 80’s called a Limited Liability company – whereby the owners of the LLC would be limited in risk (like a corporation) but still be partners in the company (like a partnership). Thereby enabling business to flourish because owners were able to act without personal risk in the new business venture.
Wyoming doesn’t have state debt like some other states in the US.
Wyoming doesn’t charge ridiculous fee’s every time you need a corporate document. In fact, they have one of the only systems in the USA where you can go and print out your documents online for free. In other states, like Delaware – you have to break out your credit card – just to see your own company file!
Particularly for Internet start ups – Wyoming is becoming increasingly attractive, …….
A Wyoming LLC is one of the most private filings in the entire world. That may be hard to believe, but its actually true. In fact, you can set up a LLC in Wyoming without your name having to be on the State Register, which is advantageous from an Asset Protection standpoint.
Wyoming is a U.S. state with two senators in the United States Senate and one representatives in the United States House of Representatives.
Each state elects two senators for staggered 6-year terms. Senators represent the entire state. Wyoming’s senators are: Michael Enzi next election 2020, and John Barrasso next election 2018.
Wyoming State Representave is, Cynthia Lummis.