I’d been meaning to post this earlier, but the Government Accountability Office produced another OVDP report in February: “IRS’s Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program: 2009 Participation by State and Location of Foreign Bank Accounts”. This was in response to a request by Carl Levin, and follows up on their previous demonisation of people who don’t want to enter the OVDP.
Naturally, most media sources noticed only the high-profile facts that Carl Levin & the GAO want them to: OVDP participants are located in high-income states and many of them had Swiss bank accounts. Forbes, for example, ran it under the sensationalistic and deeply-misleading headline “Where Offshore Tax Evaders Live and Bank”. However, as we’ve repeatedly emphasised here at the Isaac Brock Society, the major effect of the OVDP has been to terrorise minnows with personal connections to foreign countries — immigrants, emigrants, and their spouses and children — who innocently organised their financial lives around their personal connections.
A bit of digging and calculator work with the GAO’s latest report offers even more evidence to support what we’ve been saying here all along. The U.S. states with the most OVDP participants were precisely the states with the highest foreign-born population. And besides Switzerland, the countries where most OVDP participants had their bank accounts were precisely those countries where high proportions of American emigrants have gone to live or those countries whence high proportions of foreign workers in the U.S. have come.