TAX SHELTERS

U.S. to Make Banks Identify Offshore Owners

The United States government plans to institute new rules requiring banks to identify the owners behind shell companies for the first time ever. The rule comes as a response to the "Panama Papers" leak of documents naming international leaders as having ties to offshore tax-shelter front companies. Under previous regulations, banks with American branches in the U.S. were required to know who opens stateside accounts, and many have exploited the loophole wherein customers set up accounts using a shell company's name.