Wed, Jun 24, 2015 - Page 9 News List

Follow the money: inside the world’s tax havens

There are many tricks used to shift money offshore, and a pinstriped army of accountants and lawyers to help people do it

By Nicholas Shaxson  /  The Guardian

So the US has been fighting hard against foreign tax havens, to crack down on its own tax cheats. At the same time the US is a big part of the world’s problem, with Wall Street banks profiting from its willingness to help foreign tax cheats.

Britain’s own array of satellite havens — the Cayman Islands, British Virgin Islands, Bermuda, Jersey, all of which sport the queen on their banknotes — are part of the same problem.

From my meeting with Spencer, I took away two big thoughts. First, that tax havens were not where I thought they were. The US, a tax haven? In those days, nobody was pointing that out.

Second, this was no exotic criminal sideshow to the global economy, as I had assumed — it was a much bigger phenomenon than I had ever imagined. This was interesting. I was hooked.

Nicholas Shaxson is the author of Treasure Islands: Tax Havens And The Men Who Stole The World.

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