By: Ainsley Brown
The answer: follow the money to the evader.
This is of course easier said than done.
According to Tax Justice Network’s report, ‘The Price of Offshore Revisited,’ global tax evasion in 2010 amounted to at least $21 Trillion – yes that’s trillion with a T. The Tax Justice Network’s numbers were based on examining the offshore assets under management deposits and custody assets of the top 50 individual banks around the world. This number as incredible as it sounds is conservative according to the report’s author James Henry.
If you are having a hard time conceptualize $21 trillion dollars, believe me you are not alone as I had the same difficulty. A piece on the BBC was of great assistance in putting $21 trillion in to context – albeit in an alarming way – and that is “it is more than a quarter of the total GDP (gross domestic product) for the whole world – about the size of the US and Japanese economies combined.”
With that context in mind what is the best way to fight global tax evasion?
Again I charge: follow the money to the evader.
I know, I know, easier said than done.
Given the state of the global economy and the fiscal constraints many governments find themselves one would reasonably think that all is being done to locate, account and tax these monies? With a conservative $21 trillion out there, the results so far speak for themselves.
And I will repeat follow the money to the evader.
But how? Stay tuned for Part II.