Tax Havens history: A crime against humanity

tth_infographic_finalThe tiny infographic to the left is courtesy of Tax Justice Network. These guys have done some amazing research on tax havens and how they are used to facilitate tax evasion and avoidance and the impact of the resulting financial drain on the poorest members of the global family.

Click on the infog twice to enlarge and read the history of this modern cancer that is draining the developing nations of  US$550 billion annually via one form of tax avoidance called trade mispricing which involves  “the shifting of profits to low-tax jurisdictions”. This drain of in excess of US$550 billion annually is tantamount to  more than five times annual aid flows” by one estimated .  

By another estimate, the Global financial Integrity report tells us that the amount of money that the developing nations lost through illicit financial flows in 2006 was about approximately $1.06 trillion. Illicit financial flows as used in this report include “the proceeds of crime, corruption and tax evasion”. Think how many lives could have been saved with this money.

If this financial drain and the tax havens that facilitate them is not a crime against humanity or at least a crime against the poorest folks of this world that such activities affect the most, then what is?