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Oxfam exposes world's worst tax havens

Hardy Graupner
December 12, 2016

Global charity Oxfam has published a list of what it believes are the world's worst corporate tax havens. It insisted that big business kept cheating populations out of billions of dollars every year.

Tax havens
Image: DW-TV

In a fresh study released Monday, global charity Oxfam revealed how tax havens around the globe were leading an international race to the bottom on corporate tax, which it said "was starving countries out of billions of dollars needed to tackle poverty and inequality."

The group said Bermuda, the Cayman Islands, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Singapore, Ireland and Luxembourg topped its list of worst tax havens.

The list was compiled while assessing the extent to which countries employed damaging tax policies, such as zero corporate tax rates, the provision of unfair and unproductive incentives and a lack of cooperation with international players in the fight against tax avoidance.

Missing transparency

Oxfam noted that many nations high on its list had been involved in major scandals, citing Ireland which hit the headlines over a tax deal with US tech giant Apple that enabled the company to pay a corporate tax rate as low as 0.005 percent.

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"Corporate tax haves are propping up a dangerously unequal economic system that is leaving millions of people with few opportunities for a better life," Oxfam tax policy advisor Esme Berkhout said in a statement.

The charity said tax dodging by multinational corporations cost poor nations vital resources that would be enough to provide an education "for the 124 million children who aren't in school and fund healthcare interventions that could prevent the deaths of at least 6 million children every year."