The problems

1. Tax havens help rich people hide money that should be spent on schools, hospitals, roads and other public services

Switzerland is not only one of the world’s biggest financial centres but also one of the world’s largest tax havens; find out why the country took first place on the 2011 Financial Secrecy Index.


2. Tax havens force poor people to pay the taxes of the rich

Learn about SAB Miller, the brewing multinational whose transfer pricing techniques are depriving countries of much needed tax revenue.


3. Tax havens help criminals hide their loot

This multi-billion dollar Ponzi scheme orchestrated by infamous Wall Street financier Bernie Madoff could not have happened without tax havens.


4. Tax havens help dictators and their cronies plunder the resources of developing countries

Teodoro Nguema Obiang used tax havens to exploit Equatorial Guinea’s natural resources. Not a very nice man.


5. Tax havens allow banks to dodge financial rules and regulations

Dublin – a magical city of “light touch regulation”, which draws in money from far and wide and channels it directly into the shadow banking system.


6. Tax havens corrupt markets, concealing insider dealing and supporting aggressive tax dodging by multinational companies

The epic corruption which destroyed Enron – and hundreds of livelihoods – could not have happened without tax havens.


7. Tax havens create a private world of secrecy, impunity and power for rich elites

The Alpine ‘offshore’ microstate of Liechtenstein hit the headlines in early 2008 for harbouring the corrupt funds of hundreds of tax evaders.


8. Tax havens widen the gap between rich and poor people

Find out why the rich-poor gap is greater in the United States than almost any other developed nation.


9. Tax havens make laws in secret which affect us all

Following on from point 8, find out why Delaware, “The First State”, is the best place to escape tax in the world.


10. Tax havens degrade our faith in democracy

The City of London Corporation. Local-government authority and massive offshore lobbying body.