The basic cause of the problem Judy vents about in the OP is our tax code. Our tax code, over the years, due to fiddling and tweaking trying to address problems produced by the tax code in the first place, like the offshore havens, has resulted in a gargantuan mass of tax code that nobody really understands, that smart and savvy lawyers and unethical companies can manipulate to their advantage, and that is basically, well, preposterous and ridiculous.
The only real solution to address problems like the offshore tax havens is to throw out the entire tax code and the IRS, and replace it with a revenue-raising scheme so simple that even a third-grader could figure it out. In fact, many other countries have simplified and revamped their tax codes to their economic benefit. The US, like in healthcare, is behind the times and on its way to a place of some embarrassment in the world community.
There are two solutions that are workable and meet the goal of vaporizing the tax code and the IRS: the flat tax, national sales (or value-added tax.) The flat tax is an income tax of a fixed percentage on all income above a certain level. No deductions, exemptions, incentives, exclusions. The tax code could consist of one line in the Federal Register: "All individuals, employed or self-employed, and all business entities, shall be taxed at a rate of nn% on all net income above $nn,nnn (for individuals) and on all net income (for business entities.)"
The VAT would be a little more complicated. Some allowances would have to be made so that it doesn't adversely impact low-income people. Perhaps some basic necessity-of-life items could be exempted from the tax. Personally, I think the VAT would be good for the country in the long run, as it would encourage us to be better at saving our money rather than spending it.
Of course, it'll never happen. Even with tax reform, our stellar legislators will find some way to put in provisions for their special interest groups and supportive industries, and the end result will be even more unfairness and confusion. And if they implement the VAT, they'll probably do it as an add-on, keeping the income tax and the IRS, and thereby not solving the basic problem.
And that's my rant for the day.....