Tax Havens: Some Interesting Facts

Ah, the beautiful Cayman Islands. As a British Overseas Territory in the western Caribbean Sea, the Cayman Islands are one of the original tax havens.

Despite a modest population of less than 60,000 people, the territory has more than 40,000 companies using the territory as a tax haven, since there is no direct taxation. Together with the tourism industry, its financial services sector comprises between 70–80% of the country’s gross domestic product. Incredibly, the amount of banking assets held in the Cayman Islands exceeds $500 billion. The Cayman Islands, of course, are not alone when it comes to its tax haven status; in fact, a few others have superseded the Cayman Islands as the most ideal place for large corporations (and some very wealthy individuals) to nestle
their loot. These include Hong Kong, Luxembourg and Switzerland. Now, Switzerland is known for its banking secrecy and friendliness towards the 1%, which is primarily due to the fact it isn’t part of the EU; but Luxembourg may come as a surprise, since a lot of people will recognize Luxembourg as being one of the wealthiest nations per capita in the world. Actually, not only is it one of the wealthiest per capita, but it is the wealthiest country by GDP per capita, nominally speaking.

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