The tax lives of the rich and the famous have been revealed in recent weeks due to a special investigation. The Paradise Papers project leaked 13.4m files from two offshore service providers and 19 tax havens’ company offices.
Politicians, sports stars, celebrities, global royalty and some of the world’s largest companies have been proven to have made use of offshore paradise islands to avoid tax, bust sanctions and conceal compromising financial relationships thanks to the Paradise Papers project.
This massive document leak showed offshore law firm, Appleby to have assisted in avoiding paying millions of pounds in tax after a major investigation into Britain’s offshore empires. The material was found by German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung which was then shared by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists.
The Paradise Papers project revealed:
- Millions of pounds from the Queen’s private estate has been invested in a Camyan Islands fund.
- Offshore dealings by Donald Trump’s cabinet members, advisors and donors. Including considerable payments from a firm co-owned by Vladimir Putin’s son-in-law to the shipping group of US commerce secretary, Wilbur Ross.
- The tax-avoiding Camyan Islands trust managed by the Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau’s chief moneyman.
- An unknown $450m offshore trust that has protected the wealth of Lord Ashcroft.
- Aggressive tax avoidance by multiple world-wide businesses, including Nike and Apple.
And much more.
In the wake of the Paradise Papers leak, the British government are under heat from parliamentarians from all across Europe, for failing to take action against the offshore tax industry before.
Former prime minister, Gordon Brown spoke out saying, “first of all they have got to outlaw these tax havens, they have got to threaten to sanction them, they have got to punish them, potentially, arrest warrants in some cases where people are breaking the law.”
“There is no evidence of wrong doing, either on the part of ourselves or our clients.”
At the core of the leak is Appleby who says they have investigated all allegations and found “there is no evidence of wrong doing, either on the part of ourselves or our clients.” They added, “we are a law firm which advises clients on legitimate and lawful ways to conduct their business. We do not tolerate illegal behaviour.”