For countries in the tax haven game, it’s a race to the bottom. Singapore’s welcome mat? Corporate taxes at just 17 percent. Gibraltar scrawls on 10 percent on its rock, and the Cayman Islands’ boast 0 percent (even though everyone knows the tab on Cayman-registered profits ends up at 13 percent).
But nobody outsells Ireland and its complex, opaque package of come-hither goodies for corporations looking to dodge tax collectors (legally) back home. In a report published last month entitled “The Missing Profits of Nations,” economists from the University of California, Berkeley and the University of Denmark found that:
That’s more than the amount squirreled away on all the Caribbean islands combined, $97 billion, and more than Singapore’s $70 billion, Switzerland’s $58 billion and the Netherlands’ $57 billion, according to the research. “These are profits created elsewhere and then moved to Ireland, most likely purely for tax purposes,” says economist