Shadow finance means: Global countries lose a total of over $ 427 billion in taxes each year through international corporate tax abuse and personal tax evasion. This costs countries a total of nearly 34 million nurses a year - or the salary of a nurse per second.
The 2020 Shadow Financial Index of the Tax Justice Network shows which states particularly attract illegal and illegitimate financial flows through secrecy. The index lists 133 countries and combines the degree of secrecy with the size of the financial center.
For the first time since the index was created, Switzerland is no longer in first place. The ranking is now led by the Cayman Islands, followed by the USA. Switzerland is in third place. In addition to the emerging shadow financial centers of Hong Kong and Singapore (fourth and fifth), Luxembourg and the Netherlands are also two EU countries in the top 3 of the index (sixth and eighth). Austria could not improve compared to 4 and is in the top bad third in 5th place.
Slight improvement in transparency
All in all, the index documents slight improvements in transparency in the global financial system - above all because states are increasingly participating in the automatic exchange of information between the tax authorities. But especially Anglo-American financial centers such as the Cayman Islands, the USA and Great Britain are defying this international trend.
There has been little progress at the global level with regard to corporate tax transparency. Although more and more corporations are already voluntarily publishing their tax and profit data, there are still no disclosure requirements in the EU.
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