Oxfam report on the world’s worst tax havens

Bermuda.Bermuda.Photo: NTB scanpix / Iversen, Arne

Multinational companies are hiding away 100 billion each year in tax havens – and several countries on the “top ten” list are in Europe, according to a new report by the British charity Oxfam.

– Tax havens helps large companies to suck out billions of dollars from developing countries each year.

This leads to a very uneven economic system that leaves millions of people without opportunities for a better life, says Esme Berkhout from Oxfam in a comment on the report.

The Netherlands, Switzerland, Singapore, Ireland, Luxembourg, Hong Kong, Cyprus, Bermuda, Cayman Islands, Bahamas, Jersey, Mauritius, Curacao and the British Virgin Islands are on Oxfam’s list of the world’s worst tax havens.

Laws and loopholes

The organization has compiled the list by examining how states apply their laws that make tax evasion possible.

Among the criteria is 0 percent business tax, a lack of international cooperation against tax evasion and “unfair and unproductive tax incentives.”

Oxfam estimates that multinational companies cost developing countries at least $ 100 billion this year on evading taxes. This equates to over 850 billion Norwegian kroner.

Larger global problem

– The amount is more than enough to provide education for all of the 124 million children currently unable to go to school, and to pay health care that can save the lives of six million children, the report said.

But tax havens are only part of the global problem, according to Oxfam, as states around the world reduce their corporate taxes in the battle for investments.



Source: NTB scanpix / Norway Today