In a new investigation, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) have revealed direct links between offshore tax havens and more than 120 politicians and world leaders; over 100 multinational corporations and countless wealthy individuals.
The so-called ‘Paradise Papers’ leak consists of 13.4 million documents, mainly originating from the offshore company Appleby and a number of tax haven company registers.
Tove Maria Ryding, Tax Justice Coordinator at the European Network on Debt and Development (Eurodad) said: "We’re not surprised to see that the dark work of tax havens is still operating at full speed. As long as there are loopholes, there will be wealthy clients and big corporations ready to pay to circumvent our tax systems.
"Our political decision makers have clearly failed to tackle this problem. Ministers have given many speeches about wanting to fix the system, but they haven’t walked the talk.
"But the solutions are clear. First, we need transparency to stop secret shell companies and trusts, and to ensure that citizens can see what multinational corporations are really paying in taxes. And then we need governments to convene at the United Nations to negotiate a global agreement, which puts a stop to tax havens once and for all."
Eurodad urges the leaders of countries across the world to:
- Introduce public registries of beneficial owners of companies, trusts and similar legal structures.
- Let the public see where multinational corporations do business, and how much taxes they pay in each country where they operate.
- Establish an intergovernmental body at the United Nations, and negotiate a global agreement to put an end to tax havens.