The Observer has an interesting article today regarding off-shore tax havens and the tax revenues that governments around the world are missing out on due to tax evasion of the rich.

It includes some MASSIVE NUMBERS and remember, this report only deals with individuals.  Never mind whatever the multinational corporations are up to.

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The report highlights a study, by a group called Tax Justice Network, shows that $11,500,000,000,000 worth of assets have been placed offshore.  To avoid taxes.

As its website states, the Network exists as a

response to harmful trends in global taxation, which threaten states’ ability to tax the wealthy beneficiaries of globalisation

But while this huge figure sits there, it earns $860,000,000,000 annually.  Which would probably buy you an easter egg or two.

Amongst other things, the report states that governments seem

unable, or unwilling, to prevent the rich employing aggressive strategies to minimise their tax liabilities

(my emphasis)

Here’s the crux of it though. Governments around the world are estimated to be missing out annually on an estimated


or (according to Wikipedia) somewhere between the GDP of Saudi Arabia and Norway.

or over one and a half times the total Cost of War in Iraq to the US government.  But probably soon to be equivalent to the cost of war in Iraq as that counter keeps ticking…….

So the question is, what can you do about all of this.

Sign the TJN declaration, A Manifesto for Tax Justice

While in the US, Citizens for Tax Justice has tons of information about global, national and local issues.

Join War on Want’s “New rules” campaign, which includes an area they call The Global Tax Dodge.

and hopefully as this issue attracts more global attention, goverments will start to act in a more responsible manner and divert more resources to closing loopholes and improving tax collection.

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