Summary of Tackling Tax Havens

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Tackling Tax Havens summary

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The term “tax haven” conjures images of mysterious places where elites stash their wealth, but tax avoidance is a global phenomenon. The total amount squirreled away from tax collectors is staggering, as are the forgone government tax receipts: more than $500 billion annually. But the international tax system may be on the verge of significant change, according to journalist Nicholas Shaxson in this eye-opening article. Could a fairer tax allocation framework finally be in sight?

About the Author

Nicholas Shaxson is a financial journalist and the author of The Finance Curse.

Summary

Tax havens let people and corporations evade regulation as well as taxes.

Tax havens aren’t always hidden away in glamorous locales; in fact, they’re fairly common and play a significant role in the global economic system. As of 2017, US Fortune 500 companies were keeping more than $2 trillion in tax havens. And it’s no wonder why: Under the international taxation principle of “arm’s length, separate entity,” a company can move its assets – such as patents, for example – to affiliates in different countries to obtain the most favorable tax treatment. And large corporations aren’t alone in benefiting from tax havens: Estimates suggest that individuals worldwide have up to $36 trillion concealed...


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