Corporate tax havens around the world are starving countries of billions of dollars needed to tackle poverty and inequality, according to a new report from Oxfam that identifies the 15 nations and territories leading this “global race to the bottom.”
In order of significance, those 15 worst tax havens are: Bermuda, the Cayman Islands, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Singapore, Ireland, Luxembourg, Curaçao, Hong Kong, Cyprus, Bahamas, Jersey, Barbados, Mauritius, and the British Virgin Islands. They landed on the “world’s worst” list because they employ damaging tax policies “such as zero corporate tax rates, the provision of unfair and unproductive tax incentives, and a lack of cooperation with international processes against tax avoidance (including measures to increase financial transparency),” Oxfam says.
In these countries, big businesses are dodging taxes “on an industrial scale,” forcing governments to reduce public spending or raise taxes on average citizens in order to make up for lost revenues. According to the non-profit, this level of tax dodging costs poor countries at least $100 billion every year.