15 Inconvenient Truths About Tax Havens

Advocates have been pushing governments to act on tax havens for years.

Often the answer we get is that it is "too complicated to solve or for the rest of us to understand."

Economist and C4TF Board member Toby Sanger took to Twitter to challenge that.

Here are 15 Inconvenient Truths about Tax Havens – all under 140 characters.


1.The Panama Papers. Say no more.

2.Fantasy Islands. There’s a fantasy tax haven are offshores overseas rogue states: the consequence of other people and other governments.

3.The reality is most tax havens are creations and client states of the financial industry. See Nick Shaxson’s Treasure Island

4.It's no coincidence most tax havens are small former or existing colonies or territories.

5.UK, Canadian, US and European banks were instrumental in making most tax havens into what they are today. Watch The Price We Pay.

6.Vast majority of dollars doesn't really flow to tax havens. It is only there for accounting purposes on ledgers of banks and law firms.

7.Most profits and benefits accrue to wealthy individuals, corporations, lawyers & financiers in home countries.

8.Financial industry does just enough business in tax havens to keep locals happy and governments under their control.

9.Tax havens are a convenient tool used by tax cutting governments around the world to cut tax rates for top incomes and corporations.

10.Main beneficiaries of tax havens are of course those who can use them -- and who also benefitted from collateral tax cuts

11.Losers are the rest of us, and small local businesses competing with big corporations who gain unfair advantage from tax havens.

12.Many solutions: automatic exchange of tax information, country by country reporting, tougher legislation and enforcement,

13.A withholding tax, cracking down on transfer pricing, and stopping profit shifting also work. See http://www.taxjustice.net  & http://www.globaltaxjustice.org 

14.Most important we need public pressure & political action to tame a rogue financial industry

15.As Pogo said "the enemy is us". Our countries can tackle tax havens because we helped create them in the first place! 

You can follow Toby Sanger on Twitter. And you can follow Canadians for Tax Fairness on Twitter and Facebook.