The top tax havens are island countries such as the British Virgin Islands, Samoa and Malta. Tax shelters are places where rich people keep money in foreign accounts for a different reasons, including tax evasion and tax avoidance. These individuals often hold money in shell companies and anonymous entities, such as the Cayman Islands and other small, low-tax jurisdictions in remote areas.
CORPNET, an Amsterdam-based corporate research group, ranked the world’s top tax havens based on how much money a country receives and how much money it should generate based on the size of its economy.
The country, Seychelles was among 30 countries blacklisted by the European Union as a tax haven in 2015. Later on moved to the “gray list” after promising some tax reforms.
The country, Cyprus on the Mediterranean island of southern Turkey with a population of about 1.2 million, is investigating allegations of corruption related to its “Golden Passport” program, which deals with immovable property or local businesses in the country. Gives citizenship to foreigners who invest minimum of 2.2$ million.
In 2001, the small island nation blacklisted internationally amid concerns that it had become a hub for money laundering. In 2015 it was declared a tax haven by the European Union and included in the blacklisted countries. The OECD enhanced Nauru’s tax transparency standards in 2017.
The country, Luxembourg is one of the richest countries in the world, thanks to its financial sector, which accounts for more than 35% of its GDP. The government pursuing policies since 2002 to attract foreign direct investment, but under pressure from the European Union and the OECD, Luxembourg has lost some favorable tax benefits in recent years.
According to Quartz, it encouraged foreign investment since the late 1980s and early 1990s. When it enacted the Mauritius off-Shore Business Activities Act. This act allows foreign entities to finance, little disclosures and very low taxes. Mauritius was blacklisted by the European Union in 2015 as a tax haven. Later on EU removed it from the list in October 2019.
Malta is a peninsular island in the Mediterranean in southern Italy. Companies in Malta pay the lowest taxes on the profits of any EU country. Local businesses pay 35% tax on profits, but foreign corporations pay less than 5%.
9. Marshall Islands
Nation with a population of about 76,000. It was blacklisted by the European Union in 2015 as a tax haven. Later on European Union decided to remove it from the blacklist in 2019. Because it banned letterbox companies that are used to evade and hide taxes.
The Curacao, a Dutch Caribbean island, is known as an offshore financial center. In 2017, it was put on the EU’s “gray list” of countries that need to improve their tax policy to comply with EU transparency regulations.
The Liechtenstein, a European country smaller than Washington, D.C., has a thriving financial services sector and one of the highest per capita income levels in the world. It also acted as a tax haven, prompting the EU to blacklist the country in 2015. Liechtenstein agreed to ban tax evasion, but it is still the lowest corporate tax rate in Europe.
In 2015, the South Pacific state of 200,000 inhabitants was named the world’s most economically secretive nation in a list of tax havens compiled by the Tax Justice Network. Samoa is on the European Union’s blacklist of global tax havens.
5. Cayman Islands
The Cayman Islands is one of the world’s most notorious tax shelters because it has no corporate tax, no personal income tax, and no capital gains tax. It was one of 30 countries blacklisted as a tax haven by the EU in 2015. In October 2019, the Cayman Islands promised to reveal the identities of every person who owns a company there by 2023.
Home of approximately 71,000 people. It is largely dependent on insurance and other financial services. Oxfam named Bermuda the world’s worst corporate tax haven in 2016, and was among the 30 countries blacklisted by the European Union in 2015 as a tax haven.
In jersey the wealthy British began to move there and used their money to take advantage of the reduction in wealth and inheritance taxes in the 1920s. The Tax Justice Network named Jersey the most aggressive tax haven in the world this year.
In 2017, Taiwan was declared a potential tax haven by the European Union’s Economic and Financial Affairs Council. Taiwan is a controversial nation. Taiwan considers itself a free democracy that champions human rights. The European Union removed Taiwan from its blacklist in 2019 after promising to reform its tax system.
1. British Virgin Islands
World’s Top Tax Haven
The world’s largest tax haven, the British Virgin Islands, is worth more than 5,000 times its economy. It is one of 30 countries in 2015 to be included as a tax haven by the European Union. In 2017, British Virgin Islands officials released a report claiming that the British mainland was not a tax haven, but a strong partner in the global economy and a facilitator of international trade and investment.
The European Union granted the British Virgin Islands by the end of 2019 to comply with tax reforms and avoid blacklisting its tax haven in 2020.
One of the famous names associated with the British Virgin Islands is Richard Branson, a billionaire businessman who owns Knicker Island, a luxury 74-acre private island.