Enron tax shelter and compensation investigation

[JURIST] The House Joint Committee on Taxation has issued a comprehensive Report Of Investigation Of Enron Corporation And Related Entities Regarding Federal Tax And Compensation Issues, And Policy Recommendations, [PDF text] with Appendices A & B and C & D.[PDF - note: these files are very large]. Committee Chief of Staff Linda Paull summarized the Committee's findings in an appearance Thursday before the Senate Finance Committee. Paull concluded: "Enron deliberately and aggressively engaged in transactions that had little or no business purpose in order to obtain favorable tax and accounting treatment...Enron’s structured transactions not only pushed the concept of business purpose to the limit (and perhaps beyond) but also highlight several general issues about the nature of the tax system and a corporation’s attitude towards it. Enron’s behavior illustrates that a motivated corporation can manipulate highly technical provisions of the law to achieve significant unintended benefits. Remarkable in many respects was Enron’s ability to parse the law to produce a result that was contrary to its spirit and not intended by Congress or the Treasury Department." Review Ms. Paull's written testimony [PDF text].

 

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