Tax havens are used by the wealthy elite and institutions all over the world. While they may carry moral and legal implications, this is often ignored. It’s one of the most effective ways to evade paying taxes. Businesses are incorporated in foreign places, usually British islands, in order to shelter funds from being taxed. Furthermore, these foreign lands usually have laws in place to conceal the business revenues to outside governments. These tax havens serve as the equivalent of a utopia for the wealthy, as they are in the lead for paying the least taxes.
To be classified as a tax haven, it must generally carry these qualifications:
• No or little taxes. You can place your assets and businesses in these locales with the benefit of little to no taxation.
• No transparency. These places have legal regulations in place to protect the business reporting’s of its residents and business owners.
• Personal Information Kept Concealed. They have laws in place to prevent outside officials from tracing ownership or information.
• No need to have a local presence. Therefore, it becomes a very convenient process since one doesn’t have to physically shift their operations overseas. According to Investopedia, one building in the Cayman Island is said to house supposedly 12,000 U.S.-based corporations!!
Investopedia’s List of Popular Tax Havens
|Andorra||Located in Western Europe between France and Spain in the Pyrenees Mountains. No income tax, gift, inheritance or capital transfer tax. Website: http://www.andorra.ad/|
|The Bahamas||Located off southeast cost of Florida. No personal income tax, nor are capitals gains tax or inheritance tax. Website: http://www.bahamas.gov.bs/|
|Belize||Located in Central America on the Caribbean sea between Mexico and Guatemala. No Capital Gains Tax. Website: http://www.belize.gov.bz/|
|Bermuda||Located east of North Carolina in the Atlantic Ocean. No income tax, capital gains tax, capital transfer tax. Website: http://www.gov.bm/|
|British Virgin Islands||Located 60 miles southeast of Puerto Rico in the Carribean. No capital gains tax, capital transfer tax. Famous destination among offshore companies. Website: http://www.loc.gov/|
|Cayman Islands||Located in the western Caribbean just south of Cuba. Famous offshore banking centre. Website: http://www.gov.ky/|
|Channel Islands||Located 40 miles north of France and 110 miles south of UK in the English channel. Non-residents are not taxed on foreign income. Website: http://www.gov.gg/|
|Cook Islands||Located between Samoa to the west and French Polynesia to the east in the south Pacific. Famous for bank confidentiality. Website: http://www.cook-islands.gov.ck/|
|Hong Kong||Located south of mainland China on the south China sea. No taxes on capital tax. Other taxes are also low. Website: http://www.info.gov.hk/|
|The Isle of Man||Located between Ireland and England in the Irish Sea. No corporation tax, capital gains tax, inheritance tax or wealth tax. Website: http://www.gov.im/|
|Mauritius||Located in the Indian Ocean east of Madagascar. A low tax heaven. Website: http://ncb.intnet.mu/govt/house.htm|
|Liechtenstein||Located in western Europe bordered by Switzerland and Austria. Famous for low taxes.|
|Monaco||Located in western Europe on French coast of Mediterranean sea. No personal income tax or capital gains tax.|
|Panama||Located between the North Pacific Ocean and the Carribean Sea. No tax on foreign source income. Website: http://www.presidencia.gob.pa/|
|Switzerland||Located in western Europe. Famous for offshore banking and lower taxes.|
|St Kitts and Nevis||Located west of Antigua in the lesser Antilles of the Caribbean Sea. No taxes, bank secrecy. Website: http://www.embassy.gov.kn/|
|Information current as of August 2009.|
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