January 6, 2022 - Douglas Myser

Offshore havens hurt tax efforts. The Pandora Papers, and previous to that, the Panama Papers, showed a concerted effort by the Rich and Bankers to hide money from tax authorities all over the world. They are also largely responsible for the recent adoption of the 15% minimum Corporate Tax among the world's largest economies, in an effort to thwart such tax havens. Even in the U.S. where the efforts lead officials congregated, difficulties emerged, when it was revealed that South Dakota rivals jurisdictions in Europe and the Caribbean in financial secrecy laws. Tens of millions of dollars from outside the United States are now sheltered by companies in Sioux Falls, some of it tied to people and companies accused of human rights abuses and other wrongdoing. Offshore havens hurt tax efforts.

Especially during the Covid pandemic, when governments have to spend more to prop up businesses and households hurt by the economic fallout, having tax revenue is essential to keep the wheels of the economy humming. Yet the Pandora Papers illustrate how celebrities, rich individuals, sports figures, and even politicians, are gaming the system, by parking money in ways to avoid paying any tax at all. After the taxing authorities nail some of these individuals, they may need Tax Resolution Services.

The details are contained in more than 11.9 milllion financial records that were obtained by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists and examined and made public by the Washington Post and other partner news organizations. The files include private emails, secret publications, financial worksheets, clandestine contracts and other records that unlock otherwise impenetrable financial schemes and identify the individuals behind them, The trove, dubbed the Pandora Papers, exceeds the dimensions of the leak that was at the center of the famous Panama Papers investigation over five years ago. That data was drawn from a single law firm, but the new material encompasses records from 14 separate financial services entities operating in contries and territories including Switzerland, Singapore, Cyprus, Belize and the British Virgin Islands. THe scope of the fraud is international in scope.