The latest round of leaks of offshore incorporation documents, known as the “Paradise Papers,” put a spotlight on Americans and companies and their use of such vehicles to avoid paying taxes.
The leak of 13.4 million documents, provided by anonymous sources to the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung and shared via the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, revealed the offshore business activity of a number of elite clients of the Bermuda-based law firm Appleby and of corporate registries across 19 jurisdictions. Among those named are the Queen of England, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross, rock star Bono and other elites. It revealed the avoidance strategies of blue-chip companies such as Apple Inc. and Nike, which sought access to offshore havens to pay lower or no taxes.
“What we learned confirms what we always suspected: That the use of offshore companies is more widespread than ever imagined. Offshore