Förderverein Informationstechnik und Gesellschaft

Congressional tax commission frets about crypto

------- Forwarded Message Follows -------
Date:          Tue, 22 Jun 1999 23:51:52 -0400
From:          Declan McCullagh <>
Subject:       Congressional tax commission frets about crypto

Some of the testimony warned of the dangers posed to governments by
uncontrolled technology, a common complaint in the nation's capital. 

Specifically, presenters here at William and Mary College fretted that
encryption technology, combined with the ability to buy and sell
anywhere in the world, could allow consumers to skirt sales taxes. 

Maintaining taxes at current levels poses "an increasingly difficult
problem for tax administrators as a result of new technologies," said
Joseph Guttentag of the US Treasury Department. 

He warned that Americans may seek to evade high income taxes by moving
online and offshore. 

"We are going to closely monitor the relationship of tax havens to
electronic commerce... Encrypted [communications] create opportunities
for untraceable transfer of assets and other activities that will
hinder audits" 

Guttentag, who appeared in Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin's stead, is
a senior adviser in the department's Office of Tax Policy and chairman
of an Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development tax
committee. He said the OECD should become more involved in eliminating
"other forms of harmful tax competition."