Tuesday, May 3, 2016

United States, Not Panama, in Top 10 Tax Havens for Evaders

BBC News
By F McGuire   |   Sunday, 10 Apr 2016 06:57 PM



The United States is among the top 10 countries with the least financial transparency, making it a perfect tax haven for those unsavory characters looking to launder and hide their ill-gotten cash.

The recent huge leak of documents from the Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca has revealed how tax havens are used to hide wealth and has focused the world's attention on the Central American nation. 

“But international organizations which investigate financial secrecy warn that Panama is not even in the top 10 countries with the least financial transparency,” the BBC reported.



The top 10 nations for financial secrecy according to The Tax Justice Network:


  •     Switzerland
  •     Hong Kong
  •     USA
  •     Singapore
  •     The Cayman Islands
  •     Luxembourg
  •     Lebanon
  •     Germany
  •     Bahrain
  •     United Arab Emirates

"There is a double standard: many developed countries host or support jurisdictions where there is an absence of financial transparency," says Alex Cobham of Tax Justice Network.



Switzerland leads the ranking with its almost impenetrable tradition of secrecy in banking, even if — under international pressure — it has recently made some concessions towards identifying the owners of accounts linked to international tax evasion investigations.

Within U.S. borders and just a stone's throw from the White House, the east coast state of Delaware is home to around 945,000 firms, which equates to almost one for each resident.

Delaware is one of four U.S. states — the others are Nevada, Arizona and Wyoming — that have been criticized for their lax financial regulation. Many of the firms are suspected of being "ghost companies."

Transparency International, an anti-corruption campaigning movement, describes the state as a "transnational crime haven."

Meanwhile, another possible reason for the small presence of Americans in the Panama documents is that U.S. citizens hoping to hide funds and activities offshore were not drawn to Spanish-speaking Panama as a haven, when there are options like the British Virgin islands and the Cayman Islands, the AFP reported.



(Newsmax wire services contributed to this report).

Comment:

I'm not certain the article made this clear.  They are talking about tax havens for criminal businesses, not necessarily legitimate businesses.  The author mentioned "Ghost Companies".  GC's are corporations on paper but do not exist in the real world.  These are inventions to help organized crime like drug cartels appear to have legitimate business concerns.

After all, the IRS doesn't just want to know how much money you made so they can tax you.  They also want to know HOW you made your money.  Of course you can put down any old lie on paper.  But if you get audited, you had better bloody well be able to prove what you wrote on your return.  That's what Ghost Companies are for.  The IRS has neither the time nor the manpower to investigate these companies to see if they are real or just paper.

I'm sure some real corporations have set up ghost companies to help hide their assets from the IRS.  But they wouldn't hide all their assets in that way.  If you put all your eggs in one basket you risk losing everything.  Big firms like Microsoft and Exxon-Mobile would use several methods to hide assets they didn't want to pay taxes on.  Hiding them here is one, and hiding them offshore in one of the above mentioned countries is another.  And I'm sure they have other techniques I know nothing about.

This problem is not easy to fix under our current corrupt system.  Asking the government - which are nothing but Judeo-Capitalist puppets to change our tax laws is like asking the fox to stop robbing the hen house.  The One Percent won't allow for any changes they feel will effect them in a negative way.  They might allow minor changes.  Allowing little changes is good publicity for them.  It gives them a chance to show the average person that they are honest business men and want to pay their fair share.  Yeah right.

I don't mind them lying to me as much as I mind their low opinion of my intelligence.  If they're going to lie, then do it, but don't treat me like a gullible fool.

Dan 88!

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