The release of the Panama Papers, a trove of documents tying world leaders and influential politicians to undeclared wealth and tax havens, has sparked a global outcry. As a matter of fact, the prime minister of Iceland, Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson, was forced to resign when the leak tied him to hidden assets (sold to his wife for a dollar) in the British Virgin Islands.
That the world’s most wealthy and influential people seek to hide their assets is, of course, nothing new. However, the Panama Papers reveal just how widespread the practice is, even tying associates of Vladimir Putin (and possibly the man himself) to hidden assets totaling millions and even billions of dollars.
While it’s somewhat understandable that rich individuals might take whatever means necessary to protect their wealth, it does not justify the practice of willingly dodging tax liabilities. In achieving wealth, any rich person has necessarily had to rely upon public works, education, and the population at large. As such, they should be held accountable to these interests when the tax bill comes due.
To provide a better understanding of how these wealthy individuals (and corporations) seek to hide their assets, we thought it would be interesting to take a look at some of the best countries in the world for hiding wealth. We think you’ll be surprised to learn where some of these tax havens are!