Tax Havens


Last updated: March 2018

 

Ethical Consumer's list of tax havens

 

Coming up with a list of tax havens is not a straight forward exercise as they are far from a homogeneous group. Britain, for example, has certain characteristics which are indicative of it being a tax haven. Different territories manipulate different laws and exploit different comparative advantages.

Ethical Consumer’s list of 43 tax havens was compiled in 2018 and takes as its starting point the Financial Secrecy Index (FSI), which was launched in 2011 by the Tax Justice Network.

 

The tax havens

 

Anguilla

Aruba

Bahamas

Barbados

Belize

Bermuda

British Virgin Islands

Cayman Islands

Cook Islands

Curaçao

Cyprus

Delaware (US)

Dominica

Gibraltar

Guernsey

Guyana

Hong Kong

Ireland

Isle of Man

Jersey

Liberia

Lichtenstein

Luxembourg

Macao

Malta

Marshall Islands

Mauritius

Monaco

Montserrat

Nauru

Netherlands

Nevada (US)

Samoa

San Marina

Seychelles

Singapore

St. Kitts and Nevis

St. Vincent & Grenadines

Switzerland

Taiwan

Turks and Caicos Islands

US Virgin Islands

Wyoming (US)

                                                         

 

 

 
Tax avoidance rating - The way we rank tax havens

 

Ethical Consumer has been tracking corporate activity in tax havens since 1997. Until now we have just looked for subsidiaries in tax havens, and companies with two or more have lost half a mark in the Anti-Social Finance column.

As part of our tax avoidance research, grant funded by the Network for Social Change, we were able to improve our methodology and update our list of tax havens. We’re now going to include an analysis of the type of company in each tax haven to assess the likelihood that they are located in these territories for tax avoidance purposes.

Two or more high risk company types in jurisdictions on our list will now receive a full negative mark. Companies that report their activities country by country will score best in this category regardless of tax haven activity, in order to encourage best practice, though as far as we know no-one makes the grade as yet.


Spotting risky company types
 

We’re going to group companies into low, medium or high risk of being used for tax avoidance purposes.

  • Low risk (best score, no marks lost):No activity in territories on our list of tax havens, or subsidiaries in these regions are likely to be conducting legitimate trading activity in territory, for example, retail outlets.

 

  • Medium risk (middle score, half mark lost):Companies have two or more subsidiaries in territories on the list, but no information on the type of company could be found or they were not the types of companies recognised as high risk.

 

  • High risk (worst score, full mark lost):Companies who have a Ultimate Holding Company (UHC) or two or more subsidiaries in territories on the list, and these are: Holding Company, Trust, Nominee Company, Limited Liability Partnership, intellectual property company, internal finance company, insurance subsidiary, management services company.

 

Further Reading: What is a tax haven?

Move Your Movey offer


Introduction to tax havens

Richard Murphy reveals the 'secrecy world' of offshore activites and how these companies are able to get away with such dubious practices.

Find out more

   

Further Reading: Corporate Takeover

George has got his dream: the UK is now a tax haven

Richard Murphy explains what the latest corporate takeover says about tax haven UK.

Find out more

   

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