Oxfam International, the global poverty watchdog, has supplied companies with a list of the best places to park money to avoid taxes. It is based on the best places companies have found to park cash for the same reason in the past.
Many of America’s largest companies use the havens to improve their tax rate levels. Apple Inc. (NYSE: AAPL) is the most visible. CEO Tim Cook has said what Apple does is perfectly legal. Like many other large companies, Apple knows the low tax rate is good for its public shareholders, and thus a tool that should be employed to their benefit.
Oxfam said about these tax havens:
Bermuda, the Netherlands, Ireland and Luxembourg are among the world’s 15 worst corporate tax havens, according to new Oxfam research published today. The report ‘Tax Battles,’ reveals how these tax havens are leading a global race to the bottom on corporate tax that is starving countries out of billions of dollars needed to tackle poverty and inequality.
The full list:
The full list of the world’s worst tax havens, in order of significance are: (1) Bermuda (2) the Cayman Islands (3) the Netherlands (4) Switzerland (5) Singapore (6) Ireland (7) Luxembourg (8) Curaçao (9) Hong Kong (10) Cyprus (11) Bahamas (12) Jersey (13) Barbados, (14) Mauritius and (15) the British Virgin Islands. The UK does not feature on the list, but four territories that the United Kingdom is ultimately responsible for do appear: the Cayman Islands, Jersey, Bermuda and the British Virgin Islands.
And some of the methods:
Oxfam researchers compiled the ‘world’s worst’ list by assessing the extent to which countries employ the most 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 can use the list to shame companies, but that will not cause them to make decisions they think are financially imprudent.