Tax havens resist reforms one year on from Panama Papers exposé

Tax havens resist reforms one year on from Panama Papers exposé

The Panama Papers were a tranche of critical documents leaked from a major law firm located in Panama last year. Five hundred Indians were named in the Panama Papers revelations about the rich and powerful's use of tax havens, including well-known film stars and politicians. Research group Global Financial Integrity (GFI) previously estimated that India lost a whopping USD 51 billion to tax evasion.

Marking one year since the Panama Papers revelations, which showed large scale tax avoidance and evasion, Esmé Berkhout, Tax Justice Policy Advisor for Oxfam said: 

"One year on from the Panama Papers scandal and our political leaders are still not standing up to tax havens. Tax dodgers, and the tax havens supporting them, continue to cheat poor countries out of $170 billion in taxes every year. This money could fund health services that could save the lives of almost 150 million children.

“Governments are starting to act, but they must do much more to stop big business and wealthy elites shifting their wealth to tax havens. All countries - including tax havens - must agree to establish centralised public registers of the beneficial owners of companies, foundations and trusts so that governments know who really owns and benefits from them, and can tax them accordingly.  Governments must also establish objective blacklists of tax havens and take further action to prevent their use for tax avoidance and evasion." 

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