A new leak of a massive trove of documents being called the Paradise Papers (this post edited to add this link) reveals how the global wealthy used offshore accounts to hide their money, their financial entanglements with shady figures, and avoid paying taxes. This video explains what these documents are about and what to expect from them in the coming weeks.
The world’s biggest businesses, heads of state and global figures in politics, entertainment and sport who have sheltered their wealth in secretive tax havens are being revealed this week in a major new investigation into Britain’s offshore empires.
The details come from a leak of 13.4m files that expose the global environments in which tax abuses can thrive – and the complex and seemingly artificial ways the wealthiest corporations can legally protect their wealth.
More details of what the papers contain from the period 1950 to 2014 and how the shelters work can be read here.
As with the Snowden documents and the Panama Papers, expect a series of daily revelations as teams of journalists pore through the files and release stories, followed by excuses and obfuscation by those whose names appear in the papers. While many of these deals may not be technically illegal (after all ,tax laws are largely written to benefit the wealthy by providing them with arcane loopholes for their expensive lawyers and accountants to take advantage of), they can give rise to awkward questions of ethics, though with the Trump administration ethics seems to be word never uttered.
It is wonderful that people are leaking large caches of documents revealing how the global government and business elite actually operate.
Hugh Laurie and Stephen Fry took part in a campaign ad for the Labour Party in 1993 that highlighted the way that tax laws are exploited by accountants to favor the wealthy and make the rest of us pay for the shortfall. This scam has been going on for a long time and is just getting more blatant and excessive.