27 Jun 2007

American Samoa's US Congressman says tighter tax haven laws need to be thought through carefully

6:29 pm on 27 June 2007

American Samoa's congressman says legislation in the US congress which could see restrictions placed on offshore banking in the Pacific needs to be thought through carefully.

The Stop Tax Haven Abuse act and other associated legislation would penalise US citizens who use off shore tax havens.

The legislation could also pave the way for sanctions against those nations whose corporate, bank and tax laws deny US tax authorities access to the information they want.

Congress is focussing on some 30 countries whose offshore banking services make them tax havens, including some Pacific nations.

Congressman Faleomavega Eni Hunkin says there is concern about the impact of the legislation in the Pacific.

"This legislation places some kind of a restriction or a review of offshore banking policies or conditions. I am definitely reviewing this legislation, and I have received communications from some of our island leaders, Pacific nations, expressing concern about this proposed bill."