The veil of offshore secrecy has been momentarily lifted. Over the last two weeks, the world has looked on with fascinated horror as the “Panama Papers” leak revealed stories of political corruption, tax dodging, and money laundering that reached across the globe. The ramifications have been immediate. Iceland lost its prime minister, tax authorities around the world demanded access to the trove of data, and a number of countries have begun investigations.
The world of offshore can be baffling at first glance. But in many ways, it’s actually quite simple. Firms like Mossack Fonseca (the origin of the leak from Panama) are glorified paper pushers that create layers of companies to allow their clients to hide their identity and, therefore, their assets.
But there’s a common misconception, perhaps not helped by the latest leaks, that this is exclusively an offshore problem. In fact, according to a major ... read more at: https://foreignpolicy.com/2016/04/14/let-the-sunshine-in-panama-papers-beneficiary-owners/