Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Beyond Panama: Big Accountants, Banks, Law Firms in ‘Systematic’ Tax Ring

A new analysis of thousands of leaked documents by the Tax Justice Campaign has found that Hong Kong, the UK, Switzerland and the US are among the leading bases for big banks, accountancy and law firms which act as intermediaries in moving money and assets around the globe.

The 'Panama Papers' consisted of 11.5 million leaked documents from the Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca, detailing how the corporate service provider helped create 214,488 offshore entities around the world in order for companies and people to reduce their tax liabilities in many countries.

Taken together with other leaks obtained by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists — including those concerning the Bahamas — the Tax Justice Campaign says it has found links with major financial services and legal firms which throw the net wider than the Panama Papers leaks of April 2016.
"What I think wasn't appreciated fully at the time, but is becoming increasingly clear, is that this isn't just a story of egregious behavior. It's systematic. What we see in the Panama Papers now is a pattern of the selling of secrecy by intermediaries, which include the biggest accounting firms, many of the biggest banks and law firms. This is absolutely part of the financial globalization that's come to exist, rather than some small, marginal activity, as it is sometimes portrayed," Alex Cobham, Research Director, at the Tax Justice Network told Sputnik.  (more...)


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