Public wealth stolen by tax havens is staggering
At least $US21 trillion of private money is being hidden in tax havens, representing lost tax revenues of up to $US280 billion, according to a new report from the Tax Justice Network. The sum is equivalent to the size of the United States and Japanese economies combined.
“This new report focuses attention on a huge “black hole” in the world economy that has never before been measured—private offshore wealth, and the vast amounts of untaxed income that it produces,” said James S. Henry, senior advisor to the Tax Justice Network and the main researcher for the report.
“This at a time when governments around the world are starved for resources, and we are more conscious than ever of the costs of economic inequality,” said Henry.
The report places considerable blame on big multinational banks and other financial institutions that are central to the process of shifting money to offshore tax havens.
According to Henry, government institutions also bear responsibility for the problem. “For reasons of their own, they have tolerated the growth of the offshore sector for far too long, out of sight. It is time for them to live up to their promises, and work with us on concrete policies to get it under control,” he said.