Key Blogs and links
- TJN in FT: Unitary Tax
- $814bn drained from Africa
Vanity Fair: Romney splash
Haldane: Occupy was right
- Transfer pricing: the answer
- Transfer pricing: fiery attack
- OECD accepts automatic
- The Economist: tax capital!
- Global Forum: serious flaws
- UK's Swiss tax deal will fail
- CTJ on US corp. tax dodgersTax Justice Focus - Occupy
- Tackle Tax Havens campaign
- 2011 Financial Secrecy Index
- TJN in FT on OECD whitewash
- U.S. FACT coalition launched
- Tax Justice goes Brazilian
- Sikka close to cracking BCCI
- TJN-USA - the website
- Spencer is outspoken at UN
- Tax Us If You Can - Africa
- Wickenby: notes + a warning
- US,UK,OECD weaken UN on tax
- 10 reasons to tax companies
- Plan B for island havens
- Campaign:End Haven Secrecy
- Treasure Islands review in LRB
- Tax advisers without borders
- On SABMiller's tax in Africa
- Cashback: Documentary Film
- GFI: Illicit flows 2000-8
- New Book: Treasure Islands
- TJN in global top 21 on tax
- India joins the Task Force
- Greece's tax haven links
- FIFA makes nations beg
- Disclose all bilateral FDI!
- Private banks: TJN was wrong
- Transparency: EU official slams OECD, UK, Germany
- Swiss Tax Justice Focus
- Info exchange: new paper
- New Belgian EU murk
- Letters to UK PM and Geithner
- Offshore history: new page
- Doggart, tax haven woman
- Google pays 2.4% tax
- UK, Germany undermine transparency with Swiss deals
- World Bank gets humble
- Britain's offshore empire
- UK PLC as I.T.T.
- Plan B for small islands
- TJN - Latin America site
- DFIs in tax havens
- Job search: TJN USA
- Swiss 1, Indians 0
- 23 TIEAs in Scandinavia
- TJ Focus: Natural Rents
- Greece's $160 billion outflow
- FIFA's Africa tax bubble
- IMF on debt, tax, offshore
- BP rig was doubly offshore
- On tackling offshore
- Brazil: new tax haven list
- GFI: Transparency First
- Illicit flows: G20 call
- GFIP: $10 trillion offshore
- Mayor Bloomberg offshore
- New TJN page:
- In trusts we trust
- Kim Jong-Il in Luxembourg
- Goldman's Caymans caper
- How globalisation really works
- Tax Offshore for Climate Justice
- IMF endorses capital controls
- Automatic info exchange:
the emerging standard
- Treuhand: undermining markets
- TJ Focus: Justice Edition
- Londongrad: world's laundry
- Secrecy: Mapping the Faultlines
- Jersey admits it
- New Haven Declaration
- Oxford Report buried
- The non-perils of info exchange
- New info exchange model
- On minarets and Nazi gold
- TJN's Murphy unlocks Guardian Blair mystery
- OECD's San Marino loophole
- UBS disappointment
- Foot Report: a setback
- G20 dances around elephant
- French parliament report
- Task Force videos
- TJN terrifies Jersey
- IMF: corporate tax cuts, breaks don't promote growth
- Britain's failed tax consensus
- UN wording gets mugged
- TJN Transfer Pricing Project
- Tax Justice Ghana report
- Norway on illicit flows
- Task Force on Country by Country reporting
- Another flat tax goes
- Paxman on Ashcroft
- Information exchange:
TJN briefing paper
- Financial Task Force: new site
- French banks against offshore?
- Letter from Cayman
- CTJ on Obama tax myths
- TJN in the FT: tax havens and the economic crisis
- On the OECD's swagger
- Report on the IMF and Tax
- TJN writes to the G20
- Inequality: shocking graphs
- Illicit flows: GFIP in the FT
- Britain's Foot Review: retrograde steps
- Britain writes to its tax havens
- Draft briefing paper: information exchange
- Tax Justice Rally in London
- TJN's tax haven list: FTI
- On the OECD's failure
- Vatican honours TJN
- Máqunas Infernais - TJN in Coimbra
- G20: one list, four systems
- TJN blogger makes history
- TJN Germany: new blog
- New study: $1.1 trillion trade mispricing into EU, US, 2005-7
- U.S., UK, worst tax havens?
- Stiglitz group takes TJN line
- TJN study: big companies in tax havens
- OECD set up to fail?
- Mexico wants US transparency
- TJN's Action Programme ahead of G20 meet
- New estimates: tax havens and development -Oxfam
- Global Witness: banks, corruption and the poor
- French report: CAC-40 tax haven subsidiaries
- Info for Jersey visitors
- UK + Crown Dependencies
- Fox to regulate henhouse safety
- Swiss bank secrecy:
could it be crumbling?
- TJN/AABA workshop 2009 in Mexico - Call for Papers
- On the Corporation of London
- Guardian: major UK investigation into TJN issues
- EU: big step forward
- TUC: UK banks must come clean on tax havens
- TJN in FT on hedge funds
- Tax Justice Focus:
Next Steps edition
- GFIP: Illicit flows overwhelm foreign aid
- Vatican on tax, Doha
- Guardian on Tesco case
- Vile havens + pinstripe pirates + editorial
- London-Johnson's nonsense
- OECD: tax havens rob poor countries
- Stop Tax Haven Abuse Act: analysis
- Doha: a cup half full
- Singapore's dirty secrets
- Tax principles in a recession
- CIDSE: new report on tax justice
- Pope attacks tax havens
- Somo on Tax and FFD - in Spanish
- OECD Secretary-General backs tax, attacks havens
- Christian Aid on the financial crisis and development
- Charities Doha event
- New paper: tax competition
- Distributing oil money
- British pound, Dutch disease
- Crisis, unloveable creatures
- Obama and tax havens
- TJN letter to UK treasury
- TV tax haven debate
- French against tax havens
- TJN in The Guardian:
The threat from offshore
- TJN in the news again
Vote on tax dodgers
- Britain's Doha disgrace
- From Norway:
a world without rules
- Tax havens and market turmoil
- Tesco calls off its dogs
- Tax: the Cinderella issue
- Woodward: tax and health
- Africa tax conference
- IMF: in Africa, pay more attention to tax
- Stiglitz-shut the tax havens
- TJN's offshore dictionary
- TJN's Christensen speaks
at the Alpbach Forum
- TJN's guide to nowhere
- Richard Murphy on the IFS
- Merrill Lynch and UK tax
- Corruption: TJN in
The American Interest
- Doha: UN pushes on tax
- Political philosophy and
- TJN-NL seminar report
- Congo's capital flight
- * Tax Justice Focus *
- US Senate on tax havens
- TJN on ABC news
- Britain's libel laws
- The financial crisis and offshore
- AABA workshop: papers
- Mitchell's Iceland miracle
- Creating Turmoil: TJN submission to UK Treasury Committee (all papers here)
- Press release: Country by Country reporting / Français / Deutsch
- Catholic group CIDSE on
Financing for Development
- Pull UBS' bank license
- $265 billion US tax break
- The IMF, tax and inequality
- Tax, the UN and Doha:
- The Incidence brigade
- Introspection in Cayman
- Carbon audit the tax code!
- TJN, Wolf, Summers in FT:
on tax competition
- Nigerian loot in London
- * London event *
Time for Tax Justice
- TJN/AABA Essex workshop
- TJN-Netherlands May 21
- New report: capital flight
- European notables write on financial crisis
- TJN's Christensen in FT Economists' Forum
- U.S. Congress Extractive Industries Transparency Disclosure Act
- TJN paper on Andorra
- Christian Aid: tax evasion kills 1,000 children daily
- TJN4Africa News release
- Charles Taylor, Citibank
- French TV Documentary on tax havens, feat. Bono
- New paper: tax and governance in Africa
- Action Aid: call for action
- U.S. bill attacks secrecy that helps war criminals
- The U.K. and its tax havens
- Tax co-operation: letter
- Over $600 billion drained from Africa
- Murphy vs. Mitchell
- New! Tax Justice Focus: The Doha edition
- On tax and land
- Briefing paper: Country by Country reporting
- Taxes in developing countries: New paper
- The Guardian on Jersey
- TJN on hedge funds
- How tax havens compete
- Robert Morgenthau speaks
- IMF: legitimising the illegitimate
- EU Savings Tax Directive: briefing paper, recommendations
- Martin Wolf on domicile
- TJN writes in the FT:
End tax haven timidity
- IMF report on Liechtenstein
- Tax havens: tipping point?
- New tax haven whistleblower emerges
- Tesco's tax tricks
- TJN on Financing for Development
- Dutch multinationals: paying little tax
- Blockade the tax havens
- TJN prompts emergency debate in UK parliament over banking
- TJN's Murphy co-hosts FT forum
- Press Release: Liechtenstein
- Liechtenstein's disgrace
- TJN stirs UK domicile dementia
- TJN speaks at event on Doha FfD
- Banks under fire
- US offshore conference
- UK's Missing Billions
- Africa Tax Conference - May 2008
- Netherlands Tax Justice conference - May 21
- Montreal: Call for papers on tax competition
- Book: To build a state
- Africa's biggest secret?
- Temas: Paraísos Fiscales
- BBC: Taxing Thoughts
- Tax Justice Focus:
The Islands Edition
- TJN in the FT: The Moral Maze and accountants
- South Africa's Manuel on tax abuse and development
- Barney Frank writes on tax and regulation
- Radio programme on tax justice wins award
- Child poverty: the tax link
- War on Want: City's offshore games hurt poor
- Big banks and charity trusts: Observer Article
- UK domicile: FT editorial
- Submissions: TJN to UK Treasury on Domicile:
On legality and cost
On small company taxes
On taxing multinationals
- Foreign Aid and Tax: TJN's Brussels presentation
- TJN and AABA conference 2008 - call for papers
- Transparency International adopting TJN's agenda?
- TJN's Richard Murphy is blogger of the year
- Excellent New Statesman article on tax, democracy and nation states
- Tax Justice goes bananas
- Jersey might cost the world 20% of what is sought to tackle the MDGs.
- John Christensen lecture tour of French universities. Presentation en Français
- TJN, AABA, Tax Research: Code of Conduct for Taxation. Plus supporting arguments
- TJN's first meeting in Italy, Oct 23rd
- UK domicile: Richard Murphy admits it
- Tax Justice Focus - The French Edition. In English. In French
- Northern Rock: TJN's Murphy uncovers a scandal
- Sol Picciotto, Richard Murphy in the FT
- TJN nominates the IASB for award on corporate irresponsibility
- World Bank launches Stolen Assets Recovery (StAR) Initiative. See document and blogs here and here
- TJN to advise Norway, World Bank on offshore
- TJN submission to UK Revenue and Customs on unitary taxation.
- David Spencer presents 18 recommendations to the UN Tax Committee
- See War On Want's new anti-poverty campaign on tax and tax dodging
- TJN is steadily expanding its web site. New content:
- What is a tax haven? (Also see here)
- Tax Competition
- Tax and Accountability
- Corruption: Phase Two
- Offshore: Magnitudes
- Washington Conference: Raymond Baker's introductory speech
- Murphy and Shaxson critique the EITI in the FT
- TJN in The Guardian
- Evasion fiscale et pauvreté - Points de vue du Sud - Alternatives Sud
- A Game As Old As Empire explores Economic Hit Men and tax havens, global corruption (pdf)
- The Economist! On The Economist's error-riddled survey on tax havens, here and here and here.
- The TJN agenda is catching on! See here and here.
- Stop Tax Haven Abuse Act: a bill to the US Senate, Feb 07.
- International Budget Project's Guide to tax work for NGOs
- Is the Netherlands a tax haven?
- Appel de Genéve: Denis Robert écrit
- Corruption: Christensen at the RGS
- Bono shifts his tax affairs
- UK New Labour: The tax avoiders' chancellor
- The U.S. Senate Permanent SubCommittee on Investigations August 2006 Enablers, tools, secrecy.
- The International Confederation of Free Trade Unions on corporate tax evasion, tax rates, and developing countries. (pdf)
- Quakerssupport TJN
- Jersey's new trust law permits sham trusts for tax evasion. [en francais] (pdf)
- ACCA on flat taxes
- Africa All Party Parliamentary Group (UK) on corruption
- SustainAbility on tax and corporate responsibility
- TJN in LRB: Hooray Hen-Wees
TAX HAVENS CAUSE POVERTY
The Tax Justice Network promotes transparency in international finance and opposes secrecy. We support a level playing field on tax and we oppose loopholes and distortions in tax and regulation, and the abuses that flow from them. We promote tax compliance and we oppose tax evasion, tax avoidance, and all the mechanisms that enable owners and controllers of wealth to escape their responsibilities to the societies on which they and their wealth depend. Tax havens, or secrecy jurisdictions as we prefer to call them, lie at the centre of our concerns, and we oppose them.
Take a look at our core themes:
- We support sustainable finance for development
- We support international co-operation on tax, regulation and crime
- We oppose tax havens and offshore finance
- We support transparency and we oppose corruption
- We support a level playing field in competitive markets
- We support progressive and equitable taxation
- We support corporate responsibility and accountability
- We support tax compliance and a culture of responsbility
These issues affect rich and poor countries, and, like the fight against corruption, our approach does not fit easily into either of the old political categories of left and right. We do not argue generally for high or low taxes (that is for voters to decide) but we note the often better human development outcomes in higher-tax countries and oppose the demonisation of tax that is fashionable in some circles. What we do support is progressive and equitable taxation, which is what voters around the world have chosen. We wish to see nations’ sovereignty restored, so that electorates are given back the power to get the tax systems they vote for. To this end we advocate much stronger co-operation between states on tax and regulation. This will help us address the growing tension between global integration and a shortage of credible international governance.
For more details, see "Resources," to the left of this page.
Who are we?
The Tax Justice Network is led by economists, tax and financial professionals, accountants, lawyers, academics and writers, and we are driven by original research and ideas. We are supported by a growing community of individuals, economists, faith groups, non-governmental organisations, academics, lawyers, trade unions -- and many others. (Read more)
Why tax and tax havens?
Tax is the foundation of good government and a key to the wealth or poverty of nations. Yet it is under attack. These places allow big companies and wealthy individuals to benefit from the onshore benefits of tax – like good infrastructure, education and the rule of law – while using the offshore world to escape their responsibilities to pay for it. The rest of us shoulder the burden.
Tax havens offer not only low or zero taxes, but something broader.
What they do is to provide facilities for people or entities to get
around the rules, laws and regulations of other jurisdictions, using
secrecy as their prime tool. We therefore often prefer the term "secrecy
jurisdiction" instead of the more popular "tax haven."
The corrupted international infrastructure allowing élites to escape tax and regulation is also widely used by criminals and terrorists. As a result, tax havens are heightening inequality and poverty, corroding democracy, distorting markets, undermining financial and other regulation and curbing economic growth, accelerating capital flight from poor countries, and promoting corruption and crime around the world.
The offshore system is a blind spot in international economics and in our understanding of the world. The issues are multi-faceted, and tax havens are steeped in secrecy and complexity – which helps explain why so few people have woken up to the scandal of offshore, and why civil society has been almost silent on international taxation for so long. We seek to supply expertise and analysis to help open tax havens up to proper scrutiny at last, and to make the issues understandable by all.
The fight against tax havens is one of the great challenges of our age. Our approach challenges basic tenets of traditional economic theory and opens new fields of analysis on a diverse array of important issues such as foreign aid, capital flight, corruption, climate change, corporate responsibility, political governance, hedge funds, inequality, morality – and much more. (Read more in Part II of our Manifesto for Tax Justice)
How big is the problem, and what is its nature?
Assets held offshore, beyond the reach of effective taxation, are equal to about a third of total global assets. Over half of all world trade passes
through tax havens. Developing countries lose revenues far greater than annual aid flows. We estimate that the amount of funds held offshore by
individuals is about $11.5 trillion – with a resulting annual loss of tax revenue on the income from these assets of about 250 billion dollars.
This is five times what the World Bank
estimated in 2002 was needed to address the UN Millenium Development Goal of halving world poverty by 2015.
This much money could also pay to transform the world’s energy infrastructure to tackle climate change. In 2007 the World Bank has endorsed estimates by Global Financial Integrity (GFI) that the cross-border flow of the global proceeds from criminal activities, corruption, and tax
evasion at US$1-1.6 trillion per year, half from developing and transitional economies. In 2009 GFI's updated research estimated that the annual cross-border flows from developing countries alone amounts to approximately US$850 billion - US$1.1 trillion per year.
Offshore finance is not only based in islands and small states: `offshore’ has become an insidious growth within the entire global system of finance. The largest financial centres such as London and New York, and countries like Switzerland and Singapore, offer secrecy and other special advantages to attract foreign capital flows. As corrupt dictators and other élites strip their countries’ financial assets and relocate them to these financial centres, developing countries’ economies are deprived of local investment capital and their governments are denied desperately needed tax revenues. This helps capital flow not from capital-rich countries to poor ones, as traditional economic theories might predict, but, perversely, in the other direction.
Countries that lose tax revenues become more dependent on foreign aid. Recent research has shown, for example, that sub-Saharan Africa is a net
creditor to the rest of the world in the sense that external assets, measured by the stock of capital flight, exceed external liabilities, as measured by
the stock of external debt. The difference is that while the assets are in private hands, the liabilities are the public debts of African governments and their people. (Read more)
Globalisation and international trade and finance have got a bad name of late. Each brings opportunities, and risks. We must now start to address seriously what may be the biggest risk of all: tax abuse, and tax havens and everything they stand for.
What can you do?
Our resources are small, yet the huge, well-funded public and private interests that oppose us have no answers to the agenda we are setting. Our message is starting to spread fast. Please join us, support us, and engage with the emerging debate.
OUR CORE THEMES
Our core themes are briefly outlined below. The Resources section to the left of this page has more details.
Tax is the most sustainable source of finance for development.
The long-term goal of poor countries must be to replace foreign aid dependency with tax self-sufficiency.
Developing nations in Africa, Latin America and elsewhere are especially vulnerable to the offshore world.
Action on tax has the potential to deliver gains to poor countries that are orders of magnitude greater than what can be achieved with aid.
To meet the Millennium Development Goals, OECD countries have been urged to raise their levels of aid to 0.7 percent of Gross National Income –
but this is as nothing when compared to potential tax revenues: in some rich countries, tax constitutes over 40 percent of GDP.
Tax is the link between state and citizen, and tax revenues are the lifeblood of the social contract.
The very act of taxation has profoundly beneficial effects in fostering better and more accountable government.
It is astonishing that so many members of the aid community have ignored tax for so long. Action on international taxation is, quite simply,
the key to lifting hundreds of millions of people out of poverty. Read More
The tax policies of one country can seriously harm the citizens of another.
In the 19th and 20th Centuries, rich nations agreed that a balance should be struck between corporations, governments and societies.
Tax and regulation lay at the heart of these democratic contracts, and it was feasible to set up coherent systems under single nation states.
But these grand bargains began to unravel in the 1920s, as multinational companies began to emerge as a force in world markets and exploit
cross-border loopholes to reduce their taxes. This accelerated in the 1970s, as financial liberalisation increasingly allowed companies to shop
around for jurisdictions to escape tax and regulation. Tax havens are now intensifying competition between jurisdictions on tax and regulation in a
beggar-my-neighbour scramble to attract international capital, undermining already weak regulation of public companies and stock exchanges.
International efforts to tackle this harmful “tax competition” are, to date, feeble, and the amount of wealth offshore is growing fast.
Insular, nationally-based approaches cannot do justice to these challenges. From the perspective of individual countries, it may be relatively easy to argue in favour of cracking down on outflows of money into tax havens, but it is far harder to challenge the inflows. Only a global approach will do: this means co-operation between nations on tax havens. Far from weakening state sovereignty, as is sometimes suggested, stronger tax cooperation is the best way to strengthen national tax systems in this age of globally mobile capital. Read More
Tax havens and offshore financial centres have created an interface between the illicit and licit economies, corrupting national tax regimes and onshore regulation. The result is a shift of the tax burden away from capital and onto labour, and a dramatic rise in income and wealth inequality, as well as the corruption of democracies around the world as élites escape their responsibilities with impunity. Supporters of tax havens point to the wealth enjoyed by such tax havens as Switzerland or the Cayman Islands to bolster their arguments. This is like pointing to the wealth of a corrupt politician and arguing that corruption is therefore a good thing: tax havens effectively appropriate other countries' taxes for themselves.
We recognise that some small island economies depend heavily on hosting harmful tax practices, and may lose investment and economic growth from efforts to tackle the abuses. But the harm these activities cause are orders of magnitudes greater than any claimed benefits. We propose multilateral support for these countries to assist with re-structuring as part of efforts to clean up the tax haven scandal. In any case, the biggest culprits are the big financial centres such as in Britain, the United States and Switzerland. Read More
The Tax Justice Network supports transparency and opposes secrecy in international finance. We want companies to be made more open about their financial affairs and to publish data on every country where they operate. We want the finances of wealthy individuals to be visible to their tax authorities, so they pay their fair share of tax. Markets work better, and companies are more accountable, in an environment of transparency. Secrecy hinders criminal investigation and fosters criminality and corruption such as insider trading, market rigging, tax evasion, fraud, embezzlement, bribery, the illicit funding of political parties – and much more. We want to expand the commonly accepted definitions of corruption so that they no longer focus only on narrow aspects of the problem such as bribery. We must bring tax, tax avoidance and tax evasion decisively into the corruption debate.
Corruption, crime and corporate abuse have a demand side (such as the theft of public assets by a politician) and a supply side – the provision of corruption services, like the concealment of a politician’s stolen assets offshore. Tax havens and associated activities stimulate the demand side – so they are a central part of the corruption problem. Eva Joly, an investigating magistrate who broke open the “Elf Affair” in France (Europe’s biggest corruption investigation since the Second World War) was furious about how tax havens stonewalled her probes. She compared magistrates to sheriffs in the spaghetti westerns who watch the bandits celebrate on the other side of the Rio Grande. “They taunt us – and there is nothing we can do.” As she says, the fight against tax havens must be “Phase Two” in the international fight against corruption. Read More
We support simplicity and a level playing field on tax. Complexity and loopholes provide a windfall for a pinstripe infrastructure of lawyers, bankers and accountants and distort markets, undermining market competition, mis-directing investment, and rewarding economic free-riders. These distortions favour multinational companies over national ones; they promote big companies over small, and they hinder start-up companies in the face of established vested interests. New forms of finance that have become prominent recently, such as hedge funds and private equity companies, greatly benefit from lower tax rates, lack of transparency and minimal accountability which provide them with competitive advantages over their peers that have nothing to do with efficiency or innovation in the real world, or with the quality or price of what they offer. Companies wishing to act in an ethical manner find themselves at a competitive disadvantage vis à vis their more irresponsible competitors. Read More
We support progressive taxation, founded on the basic principle that tax should be based on ability to pay - that is, the wealthy should pay higher rates of tax. The principle of progressive taxation has been supported almost unanimously by democratic choices in countries around the world – and we support those choices. To advocate progressive taxation is to oppose regressive tax systems where the poorer sections of society pay a higher share of their income. Financing public goods, according to voters’ wishes and ability to pay, mitigates inequality, which is one of the greatest political challenges facing the world today.
Tax systems should also be comprehensive, containing layers of different taxes such as income tax, corporation tax, enviromental taxes, inheritance taxes, customs duties and so on. Different taxes have different functions, and tax systems should contain an appropriate mix of them all. Read More
Tax is the forgotten element in the corporate social responsibility debate – and probably the most important. We believe that corporate responsibility starts with paying tax.
We oppose a financial and legalistic approach to tax, which focuses exclusively on the boundary between what is legal (tax avoidance) and what is illegal (tax evasion.) Instead we favour an accountability-driven approach, differentiating between what is responsible, and what is not. A responsible approach sees tax not as a cost to a company to be avoided, but like a dividend: a distribution out of profits to all stakeholders. Companies do not make profit merely by using investors' capital. They also use the societies in which they operate -- whether the physical infrastructure provided by the state, the people the state has educated, or the legal infrastructure that allows companies to protect their rights. Tax is the return due on this investment by society from which companies benefit.
We suppport greater transparency in corporate reporting. We want to see corporate tax policies brought firmly and transparently into wider governance frameworks such as business principles and corporate values. We also support intervention to protect company directors who wish to behave in an ethical manner from being undermined by predatory actors who thrive on abuse. Read more
Tax compliance means paying the right tax in the right place at the right time. We want to see the restoration of a culture of tax compliance among individuals, corporations, tax professionals, and governments, and an ethical approach to tax. They should follow not only the letter of the law, but the spirit of the law, with respect to their tax affairs.
Both tax evasion and tax avoidance are anti-social and equally harmful. Tax avoidance may be the more so, because it is so insidious. Highly paid professionals spend their lives devising ingenious schemes to reduce or eliminate the tax liability of wealthy people, and they have set themselves up as the “experts” on international taxation, developing and propagating a world view that sees these kinds of abuses as acceptable. Huge, well-resourced vested interests support them and have skewered international efforts to address the problems. Politicians, economists and civil society groups, perhaps daunted by the complexity of the issues or unable to see or measure what is happening in the secret world of offshore, too rarely challenge this world view. Meanwhile, tax authorities rarely have the staff or time to combat the enormous resources and wiles of the tax avoidance industry. The resulting mouse-and-cat game – besides its effect on corrupting democracy – is enormously wasteful.
It is time for change. Our code of conduct on taxation outlines our approach. Civil society groups, economists, journalists, and ordinary people need to rouse themselves and make this one of the great political struggles of this young century.