Tax us if you can: Tax Justice Network takes aim at Tax Havens and Global Offshore Industry

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Canada's parliamentary finance committee will commence hearings on tax havens this Tuesday.

Our politicians might be well-served reading Tax Justice Network's latest report: Tax Us If You Can.

The report focuses on the growth of a "culture of tax abuse" and a "collapse of tax revenues," largely attributed to unprecedented levels of capital flight, tax evasion and avoidance, and tax competition in recent years.

TJN concludes that the world's wealthiest elite are hoarding between $21-32 trillion in 70 offshore tax havens, a sum they estimate could yield up to $280 billion in new revenue for cash-strapped governments grappling with rising debt, growing inequality, and stagnating economies.   

Here's a sample of what TJN has to say about tax havens:

"The result is that in the secretive, parallel universe of secrecy jurisdictions, structures can be set up to carry out real functions in the real world but without any requirement for a transparent legal presence that confirms their existence or the nature of their activities. This creates the opportunity for all sorts of illicit activities by:

• allowing tax evasion to take place largely undetected;
• facilitating capital flight;
• allowing other crimes such as money laundering, insider trading, drug trafficking, people trafficking and more to take place largely undetected.

All these things undermine civilised society. The offshore economy of secrecy jurisdictions is a massive root cause of social and tax injustice."

tax us if you can tax justice network