Jim Roche’s opinion (Forum: “‘Tax gap’ proposal could adversely affect Maine residents,” Sept. 29) that banks and large accounts need less, rather than more scrutiny from the IRS, could not be more ill-advised.

The recently released Pandora Papers uncovered billions of dollars that go “under the radar.” The investigative findings uncovered the biggest-ever leak of offshore data that exposed financial secrets of the rich and powerful.

They expose the secret offshore affairs of 35 world leaders, including current and former presidents, prime ministers and heads of state. They also shine a light on the secret finances of more than 300 other public officials, such as government ministers (Putin), judges, mayors and military generals in more than 90 countries.

These are the people who avoid taxes and frequently fund violence and drug smuggling and every imaginable crime you can imagine. Lest you think the U.S. is a clean and transparent system, please note The Tax Justice Network ranks the top countries in banking secrecy: Cayman Islands, United States and Switzerland.

Our nation needs infrastructure and social investment, but you ask where the money will come from? Well, you need look no further than South Dakota, which is turning into a tax haven for the Global Elite, with over $367 billion in secret accounts. The U.S. midwestern state now rivals Switzerland, Panama, the Cayman Islands and other famous tax havens as a premier venue for the international rich seeking to protect their assets from local taxes or the authorities.

Charles Bennett
Portland