Monday, March 28, 2005

Super-rich hide trillions offshore

Nick Mathiason has an interesting article about tax havensin the March 27 Guardian:

The world’s richest individuals have placed $11.5 trillion of assets in offshore havens, mainly as a tax avoidance measure. The shock new figure — 10 times Britain’s GDP — is contained in the most authoritative study of the wealth held in offshore accounts ever conducted.

The study, by Tax Justice Network, a group of accountants and economists concerned at the escalating wealth held in offshore locations, shows that the world’s high-net-worth individuals earn $860 billion each year from their assets.

But there is growing alarm among regulators and campaigners because exchequers worldwide are missing out on at least $255bn of tax each year. Governments appear unable, or unwilling, to prevent the rich employing aggressive strategies to minimise their tax liabilities.

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