Senators Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and Tom Coburn, R-Okla., have introduced bipartisan legislation to increase transparency around settlements reached by federal enforcement agencies, including disclosures of any tax deductions and tax credits.
When federal agencies close investigations and settle cases, they often tout the dollar amount obtained from the offender, the senators noted, but in some cases the amount can be misleading because of tax deductions and other "credits" built into the settlement that reduce the settlement's true value. In some cases these settlements are unnecessarily deemed confidential and remain undisclosed to taxpayers, Coburn and Warren noted. The Truth in Settlements Act would require more accessible and detailed disclosures about these agreements to allow the public to hold regulators accountable for the true value of these agreements.
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