New Report: U.S. the 2nd Biggest Tax Haven in the World

America Surpasses Cayman Islands, Second Only to Switzerland in Tax Justice Network’s Rankings of the World’s Largest Secrecy Jurisdictions

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The United States has become the second largest tax haven in the world, according to a new report published Tuesday by the Tax Justice Network.  Updated for the first time since November 2015, TJN’s 2018 Financial Secrecy Index (FSI) finds that the U.S. has surpassed the Cayman Islands as the second largest secrecy jurisdiction and now trails only Switzerland.  TJN is partnering with Transparency International and the Financial Accountability and Corporate Transparency (FACT) Coalition for the U.S. launch of the 2018 FSI at an event in Washington Tuesday afternoon.

Gary Kalman, the Executive Director of the FACT Coalition, issued the following statement:

“This is not a ranking in which the U.S. wants to be number one or even number two. However, that is our place.  We have one of the strongest economies and one of the most secret.  It’s a perfect recipe for attracting the proceeds of crime, corruption, and tax evasion.  Internationally, this secrecy facilitates corruption that drains wealth from developing countries.  And we are fueling an austerity movement here at home.

“Our role and lack of global leadership on these issues also hurts us by enabling the larger tax haven industry.  Legislators talk about the federal deficit, and they battle over raising revenue and cutting programs. What about addressing the more than $100 billion that is lost each year to money shifted offshore, much of it through the use of anonymous companies, to cover both illegal tax evasion and questionable tax avoidance practices?

“It’s also time we are absolutely clear on the far reaching dangers of secrecy and stop talking about this as if it were an abstraction.  The opioid crisis and human trafficking are both on the rise with the help of anonymous shell companies to launder the proceeds.  As we consider economic sanctions for North Korea, we can’t ignore how Iran evaded our earlier sanctions by establishing an anonymous company in New York and purchasing a skyscraper in Manhattan.

“This report is the latest evidence that policymakers should move forward with sensible measures to end the abuse of anonymous shell companies, increase transparency around where multinational companies pay taxes, and engage constructively in international financial transparency initiatives.”

The full report can be found online after 12pm EST at www.financialsecrecyindex.com.

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Journalist Contact:

Clark Gascoigne
Deputy Director, The FACT Coalition
+1 202 810-1334
cgascoigne@nullthefactcoalition.org

Notes to Editor:

  • A press pack from TJN is available here.
  • Narrative reports from TJN on key jurisdictions are available here.
  • Briefing documents from TJN on the financial secrecy indicators used in the index are available here.
  • TJN, TI, and the FACT Coalition are utilizing the hashtags #FSI18 and #FSI2018 on social media.