The Paradise Papers Expose the Business Side of Tax Avoidance

Offshore Account Update

Posted on February 28, 2018 |

The Paradise Papers included 13.4 million documents about offshore financial accounts that were turned over to reporters. The Paradise Papers followed other leaks of financial information, including the Panama Papers. All of the leaks of offshore accounts are intended to shed light on how wealthy individuals hide their funds and move money around the world in order to avoid paying taxes.

Taxing authorities can use information found in these leaked documents to learn more about offshore investments and to discover more about how tax avoidance and tax evasion efforts work. What the Paradise Papers have revealed, for example, is the “commoditization” of tax evasion, according to a recent article in The Guardian.

Because leaks like this put accountholders at risk of coming under investigation in their home countries, it is important to take action if you believe your information may have been revealed. A New Jersey tax evasion attorney can provide help and advice if you are concerned that you may come under investigation for offshore investments you have made which are not in full compliance with the law.

The Big Business of Tax Evasion

The Paradise Papers have done more than just reveal how many individuals and organizations are keeping money offshore. This major leak has shown just how many intermediaries are helping with the tax evasion process.

The number of lawyers, accountants, and other financial professionals who have built businesses around tax evasion has grown dramatically since the financial crisis, and the Paradise Papers are drawing attention to the ways in which professional service organizations make it quick and easy for the wealthy to hide their funds offshore. 

As The Guardian explained, many service providers specialize in facilitating tax evasion in different offshore marketplaces around the world. Many of these service providers have actually put together comprehensive packages that wealthy people can shop for, just like shopping for all-inclusive vacation packages. The package deals offer everything that wealthy individuals need to be able to move their funds offshore, including incorporation of an offshore business, creating an offshore bank account, providing an address for the offshore business, and more. The different packages are marketed in different parts of the world, such as the Indian Ocean Package or the Caribbean Package.

Many companies that have turned helping with tax evasion into a business include case studies showing how the packages have helped wealthy people to reduce or avoid income taxes and to keep offshore accounts secret.  The websites and advertisements for these services often indicate that they are operating within a gray area in the law.

Because the Paradise Papers have revealed both how large this business is and have also revealed some insider information about how the businesses operate, it is likely that taxing authorities will use this information to impose new regulations and to conduct new investigations into offshore banking.

Ultimately, as taxing authorities respond to information made available to them about the businesses that facilitate tax evasion, the risks to individuals with undeclared offshore funds will grow. If you are concerned because you are not in full compliance with tax laws, you should contact Kevin Thorn, a New Jersey tax evasion attorney, today for help.

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