One reason may be that it is fairly easy to form opaque shell companies in the United States. Americans “really don’t need to go to Panama,” James Henry, an economist and senior adviser to the Tax Justice Network, told Fusion. “Basically, we have an onshore haven industry in the U.S. that is as secretive as anywhere.”
Is any of this illegal?
It is not clear whether the papers document any lawbreaking. The holding of money in an offshore company is generally not illegal by itself, but it may be done to hide criminality from prying eyes, for example, by facilitating tax evasion or money laundering.
Are there legitimate uses for foreign shell companies?
There are many valid reasons for multinational corporations, joint ventures or wealthy individuals to set up and
... read more at: https://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/05/world/panama-papers-explainer.html