Panama Papers one year on: much work still to be done

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ActionAid Tax Justice Adviser, Anders Dahlbeck, said: “A year on from the Panama Papers the UK’s overseas territories remain a safe harbour for those seeking to avoid or evade tax. Despite unprecedented public anger and endless scandals, progress on tax haven transparency has stalled.


“When big business hides its money in tax havens, it is often the poorest who are hit hardest, with the International Monetary Fund estimating developing countries lose US$200 billion a year to corporate tax avoidance alone. Much of this money is funnelled via UK overseas tax havens like Bermuda and the British Virgin Islands. 

“As the UK prepares to leave the European Union, the Prime Minister should demonstrate Britain’s global leadership by tackling UK-linked tax havens. Theresa May must honour her pledge to crackdown on tax havens, end corporate tax avoidance and ensure big companies pay their fair share of tax in every country where they do business.”

For interviews and further information please contact Richard Grange on 07716 178114


Notes to editors

  • ACTIONAID SPOKESPEOPLE AVAILABLE IN LONDON - to arrange an interview please contact 07716 178114 / 

  • IMF research estimates that developing countries may lose $200 billion a year to corporate tax avoidance - see p21, Fig 3  

  • YouGov polling conducted on behalf of ActionAid (January 2017) - - revealed:

    • A large majority of MPs believe that UK companies with subsidiaries in tax havens should be required to explain what those subsidiaries are used for (72% of MPs agree). 

    • 56% of MPs backed the idea that, before the UK leaves the EU, the Government should set a date by which it will require UK-linked tax havens such as the British Virgin Islands and Bermuda to publicly reveal the real owners of the secretive shell companies they host. 

  • A large majority (74%) also backed a call for the Prime Minister to require all multinational companies report how much tax they pay in every country where they do business, including tax havens. The Government already has the power to do this thanks to a recent change to the law.