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American Dream Betrayed

Oxfam Names World's Worst Tax Havens Fueling 'Global Race To Bottom'

Corporate tax havens around the world are starving countries of billions of dollars needed to tackle poverty and inequality, according to a new report from Oxfam that identifies the 15 nations and territories leading this "global race to the bottom."

In order of significance, those 15 worst tax havens are: Bermuda, the Cayman Islands, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Singapore, Ireland, Luxembourg, Curacao, Hong Kong, Cyprus, Bahamas, Jersey, Barbados, Mauritius, and the British Virgin Islands.

They landed on the "world's worst" list because they employ damaging tax policies "such as zero corporate tax rates, the provision of unfair and unproductive tax incentives, and a lack of cooperation with international processes against tax avoidance (including measures to increase financial transparency)," Oxfam says.

In these countries, big businesses are dodging taxes "on an industrial scale," forcing governments to reduce public spending or raise taxes on average citizens in order to make up for lost revenues. According to the non-profit, this level of tax dodging costs poor countries at least $100 billion every year.

oxfam-taxes.jpegThe skyline in Singapore, named the fifth worst tax haven in the world/Oxfam

In turn, Oxfam warns that "the most harm falls on the public, which is faced with the triple impacts of a higher tax burden, declining public goods and services, and having to subsidize corporate profits and private wealth."

Or, as Oxfam tax policy advisor Esme Berkhout put it: "Corporate tax havens are helping big business cheat countries out of billions of dollars every year. They are propping up a dangerously unequal economic system that is leaving millions of people with few opportunities for a better life."

Oxfam calls on governments to work together to stop tax dodging by:

  • Stopping unfair and unproductive tax incentives and work together to set corporate tax at a level that is fair, progressive, and contributes to the collective good.
  • Ensuring tax blacklists are based on objective, comprehensive criteria including whether a country offers zero rates of corporate tax.
  • Improving tax transparency by requiring all multinational companies to publish financial reports for every country in which they operate, so it is clear what taxes companies are paying and where.

Politico Europe says Oxfam's research "will . . . raise questions about just how effective the [European] Commission's crackdown on anti-tax avoidance can be."

Last week, a report by the European Network on Debt and Development showed that the number of sweetheart deals between EU governments and corporations has increased by almost 50 percent over the past two years - especially in Luxembourg and Belgium.

The increase comes despite the EU's public outcry over the LuxLeaks and Panama Papers scandals, which both showed to what extent companies and individual have gone to avoid paying their dues.

The initiatives proposed by the Commission in the wake of those revelations fell short, Oxfam said at the time.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License.


Previously in Tax Scammage:
* Deepwater Horizon Settlement Comes With $5.35 Billion Tax Windfall.

* Offshoring By 29 Companies Costs Illinois $1.2 Billion Annually.

* Government Agencies Allow Corporations To Write Off Billions In Federal Settlements.

* The Gang Of 62 Vs. The World.

* How The Maker Of TurboTax Fought Free, Simple Tax Filing.

* $1.4 Trillion: Oxfam Exposes The Great Offshore Tax Scam Of U.S. Companies.

* How Barclay's Turned A $10 Billion Profit Into A Tax Loss.

* Wall Street Stock Loans Drain $1 Billion A Year From German Taxpayers.

* German Finance Minister Cries Foul Over Tax Avoidance Deals.

* Prosecutor Targets Commerzbank For Deals That Dodge German Taxes.

* A Schlupfloch Here, A Schlupfloch There. Now It's Real Money.

* How Milwaukee Landlords Avoid Taxes.

* Study: 32 Illinois Fortune 500 Companies Holding At Least $147 Billion Offshore.

* Watch Out For The Coming Tax Break Trickery.

* When A 'Tax Bonanza' Is Actually A Huge Corporate Tax Break.

* The Hypocrisy Of Corporate Welfare: It's Bigger Than Trump.


Previously in the Panama Papers:
* The Panama Papers: Remarkable Global Media Collaboration Cracks Walls Of Offshore Tax Haven Secrecy.

* The Panama Papers: Prosecutors Open Probes.

* The [Monday] Papers.

* Adventures In Tax Avoidance.

* Mossack Fonseca's Oligarchs, Dictators And Corrupt White-Collar Businessmen.

* Jonathan Pie, TV Reporter! They're All In It Together.

* Meet The Panama Papers Editor Who Handled 376 Reporters In 80 Countries.


Previously in the carried interest loophole:

* Patriotic Millionaires Vs. Carried Interest.

* The Somewhat Surreal Politics Of A Private Equity Tax Loophole Costing Us Billions (That Obama Refused To Close Despite Pledging To Do So).

* Fact-Checking Trump & Clinton On The Billionaire's Tax Break.

* Offshore Tax Havens Cost Average Illinois Small Business $5,789 A Year.


Comments welcome.


Posted on December 13, 2016

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