The Paradise Papers show that offshore accounts aren’t just for …

Mention offshore finance, and you might think of billionaire tycoons hiding their riches. Accounts in the British Virgin Islands or Panama seem especially sinister when hundreds of reporters spend months scouring 13.4 million documents, which are then given a cinematic-sounding name like the Paradise Papers.

The reality, however, can be more banal and even legitimate.

The positive impact of offshoring

An earlier exposé, the Panama Papers, was explosive, showing how a law firm had created offshore companies that helped criminals hide their money, politicians disguise their wealth, and others conceal suspicious transactions. By contrast, much of what’s been disclosed in the Paradise Papers so far appears legal and legitimate (paywall), according to Pascal Saint-Amans, director at the center for tax policy and administration at the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

Offshore accounts aren’t necessarily a problem, as long as they’re fully disclosed and transparent, Saint-Amans told Quartz. Offshore entities

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