Tax havens: Super-rich 'hiding' at least $21tn

Dec 8, 2004
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#1
A global super-rich elite had at least $21 trillion (£13tn) hidden in secret tax havens by the end of 2010, according to a major study.

The figure is equivalent to the size of the US and Japanese economies combined.

The Price of Offshore Revisited was written by James Henry, a former chief economist at the consultancy McKinsey, and commissioned by the Tax Justice Network.

He said $21tn is a conservative figure and the true scale could be $32tn.

A trillion is 1,000 billion.

Mr Henry used data from the Bank of International Settlements, International Monetary Fund, World Bank, and national governments.

His study deals only with financial wealth deposited in bank and investment accounts, and not other assets such as property and yachts.

The report comes amid growing public and political concern about tax avoidance and evasion. Some authorities, including in Germany, have even paid for information on alleged tax evaders stolen from banks.

The group that commissioned the report, Tax Justice Network, campaigns against tax havens.

Mr Henry said that the super-rich move money around the globe through an "industrious bevy of professional enablers in private banking, legal, accounting and investment industries.

"The lost tax revenues implied by our estimates is huge. It is large enough to make a significant difference to the finances of many countries.

"From another angle, this study is really good news. The world has just located a huge pile of financial wealth that might be called upon to contribute to the solution of our most pressing global problems," he said.

'Huge black hole'

The report highlights the impact on the balance sheets of 139 developing countries of money held in tax havens that is put beyond the reach of local tax authorities.

Mr Henry estimates that since the 1970s, the richest citizens of these 139 countries had amassed $7.3tn to $9.3tn of "unrecorded offshore wealth" by 2010.

Private wealth held offshore represents "a huge black hole in the world economy," Mr Henry said.

Other findings in the report include:

  • At the end of 2010, the 50 leading private banks alone collectively managed more than $12.1tn in cross-border invested assets for private clients
  • The three private banks handling the most assets offshore are UBS, Credit Suisse and Goldman Sachs
  • Less than 100,000 people worldwide own about $9.8tn of the wealth held offshore.

Link

Mr Henry said that the super-rich move money around the globe through an "industrious bevy of professional enablers in private banking, legal, accounting and investment industries. - Well... no shit.
 

doomvulture

Lord of Jailbait
May 12, 2009
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#2
I have about 2k in a tax shelter, yep I am the 1%
 

KRSOne

Registered User
Dec 8, 2011
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#4
Do libs still think higher taxes will effect these people at all?
 

whiskeyguy

PR representative for Drunk Whiskeyguy.
Donator
Jan 12, 2010
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#5
Instead of only thinking about the tax revenue, perhaps give Americans who have their money overseas a tax holiday, like many have asked for, so they bring that money into America and invest it here. Also, wile I'm sure a lot, if not most, of that money is hidden for illegal tax evasion purposes, a lot of it is probably completely legal.
 
Dec 8, 2004
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#6
Instead of only thinking about the tax revenue, perhaps give Americans who have their money overseas a tax holiday, like many have asked for, so they bring that money into America and invest it here. Also, wile I'm sure a lot, if not most, of that money is hidden for illegal tax evasion purposes, a lot of it is probably completely legal.
Well if they are getting interest on that money... and not declaring it... ummmm
 

whiskeyguy

PR representative for Drunk Whiskeyguy.
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Jan 12, 2010
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#7
Well if they are getting interest on that money... and not declaring it... ummmm
Depends on a lot of things... where that money originated for one. How the accounts are structured, what name is on the account (for example if it's a foreign corporation). Sure they may be avoiding taxes (you and I "avoid" taxes if we can through deductions)... but a lot of them may be doing so completely legally.
 
Dec 9, 2004
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#8
It's the Illuminati maaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaan


That super rich elite is probably why at least 80% of those of us who have jobs are employed.

Hide your money you rich bastards. Keep controlling the world and keep my paychecks coming!
 
Jun 2, 2005
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#10
You mean to tell me there are super-rich people who go out of their way to keep their own property and not allow governments decide that their property is public property? The hell you say!
 

Norm Stansfield

私は亀が好きだ。
Mar 17, 2009
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#12
Tax havens are foreign countries. Why would your country be entitled to money invested or deposited in a foreign country?
Well if they are getting interest on that money... and not declaring it... ummmm
Ummmm what?
 

VMS

Victim of high standards and low personal skills.
Apr 26, 2006
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#13
Tax havens are foreign countries. Why would your country be entitled to money invested or deposited in a foreign country?

Ummmm what?
The US is the only major nation I aam aware of that taxes its citizens for income earned outside its borders.

That article may well be suggesting that some nations, like Germany, may be considering doing the same.

Sent from my PG06100 using Tapatalk 2
 

THE FEZ MAN

as a matter of fact i dont have 5$
Aug 23, 2002
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#14
i have a sock full of 100$s under my mattress thats my tax haven
 

Norm Stansfield

私は亀が好きだ。
Mar 17, 2009
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#15
The US is the only major nation I aam aware of that taxes its citizens for income earned outside its borders.

That article may well be suggesting that some nations, like Germany, may be considering doing the same.

Sent from my PG06100 using Tapatalk 2
The US is the most powerful country in the world, and even it has serious trouble blackmailing foreign countries and banks into sharing financial information that makes taxing such income possible (it took 9/11 and the excuse of the war on terror to finally get Switzerland to budge on its privacy policies for instance).

I don't think other nations would be very successful in taxing outside income, even if they tried. Germany for instance would have zero leverage when demanding any information from outside the European Union.
 

Norm Stansfield

私は亀が好きだ。
Mar 17, 2009
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#16
A global super-rich elite had at least $21 trillion (£13tn) hidden in secret tax havens
They're not secret tax havens. They're all listed on wikipedia and on world maps. And the accounts aren't any more hidden than any other bank deposit, in any other country. They're private, obviously (all bank accounts are private), but no one is trying to hide their existence.
 
#19
The US is the only major nation I aam aware of that taxes its citizens for income earned outside its borders.
The East African nation of Eritrea does too.

That's about it.

But America is unique in a lot of ways.

For example, these are the countries that still have the death penalty for drug offences...

One of these things is not like the other....

Afghanistan
Bangladesh
Brunei
China
Egypt
Indonesia
Iran
Iraq
Kuwait
Laos
Malaysia
Oman
Pakistan
Saudi Arabia
Singapore
Somalia
Sri Lanka
Thailand
Vietnam
United Arab Emirates
United States
Zimbabwe