FACT Sheet: Offshore Tax Haven Abuse by the Numbers

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FACT Sheet

Offshore Tax Haven Abuse by the Numbers

Up to $180 billion: The amount that the U.S. loses in tax revenue to offshore tax haven abuse each year.

  • $111 billion: Lost U.S. revenue from profit shifting by multinational corporations annually.i
  • $40-70 billion: Lost U.S. revenue to tax evasion by wealthy individuals annually.ii

$2.5 trillion: The amount of untaxed profits held offshore by the largest 500 U.S. companies.iii

$718 billion: The U.S. taxes owed by these companies on the $2.4 trillion stashed offshore.iv

$7.6 trillion: The lower-end estimate for the hidden wealth stashed in offshore tax havens—equivalent to 8% of the global financial assets of households.v

$1.1 trillion: Amount of illicit financial outflows (enabled by tax haven secrecy) from developing and emerging economies in just 2013.vi

$7.8 trillion: The amount of illicit outflows from developing and emerging economies over the decade from 2004–2013.vii

367: Number of Fortune 500 companies that use offshore tax havens—including the big banks taxpayers bailed out in 2008.viii

2,342: Offshore subsidiaries in tax havens for Bank of America, Citigroup, JPMorgan-Chase, Goldman Sachs, Wells Fargo and Morgan Stanley combined.ix

18,857: Registered businesses at one address in the Cayman Islands.x

285,000: Companies housed at 1209 N. Orange Street in Wilmington, Delaware.xi

85%: Fortune 500 companies reported having at least one subsidiary in Delaware in 2014. In total, these companies reported more than 19,000 Delaware subsidiaries.xii

4.7%: Next highest percentage of subsidiaries incorporated in any other state.xiii

30%: Corporate share of the U.S.’s tax receipts in the mid-1950s.xiv

6.6%: Corporate share of the nation’s tax receipts in 2009.xv

$675 billion – Amount of money Sub-Saharan Africa lost to trade mispricing and other illicit financial flows from 2004–2013.xvi

6.1% – Percent of GDP that Sub-Saharan Africa loses in illicit outflows each year—higher than any other region in the world.xvii

Footnotes:
  1. Clausing, Kimberly A., The Effect of Profit Shifting on the Corporate Tax Base in the United States and Beyond (November 7, 2015). Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2685442).
  2. Guttentag, Joseph, and Reuven Avi-Yonah, “Closing the International Tax Gap,” in Max B. Sawicky, ed., Bridging the Tax Gap: Addressing the Crisis in Federal Tax Administration (2006), (Available at http://repository.law.umich.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1069&context=book_chapters).
  3. Phillips, Richard, Matt Gardner, Kayla Kitson, Alexandria Robins, and Michelle Surka. “Offshore Shell Games 2016: The Use of Offshore Tax Havens by Fortune 500 Companies.” Washington, DC: Citizens for Tax Justice, Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, and U.S. PIRG Education Fund, October 2016 (accessible at http://ctj.org/pdf/offshoreshellgames2016.pdf).
  4. Ibid.
  5. Zucman, Gabriel. “The Hidden Wealth of Nations: The Scourge of Tax Havens”. Chicago, IL: University Of Chicago Press, September 22, 2015 (accessible at  http://www.press.uchicago.edu/ucp/books/book/chicago/H/bo20159822.html).
  6. Kar, Dev, and Joseph Spanjers. “Illicit Financial Flows from Developing Countries: 2004-2013.” Washington, DC: Global Financial Integrity. December 8, 2015 (accessible at http://www.gfintegrity.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/IFF-Update_2015-Final-1.pdf).
  7. Id.
  8. Phillips, Gardner, Kitson, Robins, and Surka.
  9. Id.
  10. Government Accountability Office. “International Taxation: Large U.S. Corporations and Federal Contractors with Subsidiaries In Jurisdictions Listed as Tax Havens or Financial Secrecy Jurisdictions.” Washington, DC: December 2008 (accessible at http://www.gao.gov/highlights/d08778high.pdf).
  11. Phillips, Richard. “Delaware: An Onshore Tax Haven.” Washington, DC: Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, December 2015 (accessible at http://itep.org/itep_reports/2015/12/delaware-an-onshore-tax-haven.php).
  12. Id.
  13. Id.
  14. Kocieniewski, David. “G.E.’s Strategies Let It Avoid Taxes Altogether.” New York Times. 24 March 2011 http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/25/business/economy/25tax.html?_r=3
  15. Id.
  16. Kar and Spanjers.
  17. Id.

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